Tea prices at the first weekly Mombasa auction this year peaked slightly despite remaining below the minimum price, as demand remained low, the latest data shows.
At the auction, a kilo averaged USD 2.25 (KES 278.10), an increase of 0.03 USD when compared to the last sale of 2022, where a kilo closed at USD 2.22 (KES 274.39).
The Ministry of Agriculture set USD2.43 (KES 300.35) as the minimum tea prices for a kilo for all the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) teas in 2022 to safeguard farmers’ earnings.
Low and irregular demand for the commodity has seen the price of the commodity remain below the reserve price for the past month.
The low prices reduced the total volume traded by 112,883 kilos compared to the last sale in 2022.
“The first sale of the year opened with fair demand at irregular levels for the 220,070 packages (14,708,900 kilos) available for sale. 158,850 packages (10,540,634 Kilos) were sold with 27.82 per cent of the packages remaining unsold,” said the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) managing director Edward Mudibo.
At the auction, Egyptian Packers showed more support with Pakistan Packers, Bazaar, Afghanistan, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries active but at lower levels.
Kazakhstan and other CIS states lent selective activity, with UK and Russia maintaining participation. Sudan showed reduced enquiry while Iran were quiet.
“Local Packers were less active while Somalia maintained interest at the lower end of the market,” Edward Mudibo.