KENYA TEA INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS FOR
Tea production for the month of March 2017 decreased significantly to 34.49 Million Kgs compared to 45.32 Million Kgs recorded during the corresponding month of 2016. Lower production was largely attributed to dry and hot weather conditions experienced in all the tea growing areas. The most affected region was the East of Rift where production declined significantly from 20.38 Million Kgs to 9.85 Million Kgs owing to delayed onset of the “Long-rains” season. Production within the West of Rift decreased marginally from 24.94 Million Kgs recorded in March 2016 to 24.64 Million Kgs. Consequently, the Smallholder sub-sector recorded a significant decrease of 9.61 Million Kgs from 28.66 Million Kgs to 19.05 Million Kgs while the Plantation sub-sector registered a marginal drop of 1.22 Million Kgs from 16.66 Million Kgs recorded in March 2016 to 15.44 Million Kgs.
Cumulative production for the first three months of the year was significantly lower at 90.09 Million Kgs against 139.60 Million Kgs recorded during the corresponding period of 2016 owing to dry and hot weather conditions and delayed onset of the “Long-rains” season. Going by the current production trend and the fact that most parts of the country are expected to receive depressed “long rainfall” according to the weather forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Services, lower production is expected to be recorded throughout the year.
Table 1: Production by Sub-Sector and Region (2017 vis-à-vis 2016)
|Sector||Region||March 2017||March 2016||Variance||Var.(%)||Jan – Mar 2017||Jan – Mar 2016||Variance +/-||Var.(%)|
|Plantation||West of Rift||14,512,946||14,640,356||– 127,410||-0.87%||33,838,336||48,367,557||– 14,529,221||-30.04%|
|East of Rift||931,015||2,024,192||– 1,093,177||-54.01%||3,813,831||5,888,063||– 2,074,232||-35.23%|
|Total||15,443,961||16,664,548||– 1,220,587||-7.32%||37,652,167||54,255,620||– 16,603,453||-30.60%|
|Smallholder||West of Rift||10,135,463||10,300,695||– 165,232||-1.60%||21,754,329||33,471,222||– 11,716,893||-35.01%|
|East of Rift||8,919,052||18,364,591||– 9,445,539||-51.43%||30,687,625||51,879,672||– 21,192,047||-40.85%|
|Total||19,054,515||28,665,286||– 9,610,771||-33.53%||52,441,954||85,350,894||– 32,908,940||-38.56%|
|Plantation &||West of Rift||24,648,409||24,941,051||– 292,642||-1.17%||55,592,665||81,838,779||– 26,246,114||-32.07%|
|Smallholder||East of Rift||9,850,067||20,388,783||– 10,538,716||-51.69%||34,501,456||57,767,735||– 23,266,279||-40.28%|
|Total||34,498,476||45,329,834||– 10,831,358||-23.89%||90,094,121||139,606,514||– 49,512,393||-35.47%|
During the month, 19.56 Million kgs of Kenyan tea was sold through Mombasa Auction against 26.78 Million kgs recorded in March 2016. The average tea auction prices for Kenyan tea for the month of March 2017 was USD 2.92 per Kg which was higher compared to 2.30 recorded in March 2016. However, it was slightly lower compared to USD 3.05 and USD 3.06 recorded in January and February 2017, respectively. The Average Auction price for the period January- March was higher at USD 3.01 per Kg compared to 2.50 per kg for the same period of last year.
Improved prices to-date were attributable to good demand during the winter conditions in the Northern Hemisphere coupled with lower supply of tea due to hot and dry weather conditions.
The total export volume for the month of March 2017 was 35.04 Million Kgs compared to 42.31 Million Kgs recorded same period of last year, representing a 17% decrease. During the month, Kenya tea was shipped to forty one (41) export destinations compared to forty two (42) destinations for the same period of last year. Amongst these markets, Pakistan was the leading export destination for Kenyan tea having imported 11.25 Million Kgs, accounting for 32% of the total export volume. Other key export destinations for Kenyan tea were Egypt (5.87 Million Kgs), UK (3.17 Million Kgs), Sudan (2.47 Million Kgs), UAE (2.31 Million Kgs), Yemen (1.65 Million Kgs), Russia (1.52 Million Kgs), Kazakhastan (0.92 Million Kgs), USA (0.65 Million kgs) and Saudi Arabia (0.63 Million Kgs). The ten export destinations, most of which which are traditional markets for Kenyan tea accounted for 87% of Kenya tea export volume. Amongst the markets that recorded higher tea imports from Kenya included Pakistan, Yemen, Kazakhastan, USA, and Saudi Arabia.
Amongst the emerging markets that recorded significantly higher tea imports from Kenya included Poland, China, Chile, South Africa,Malaysia and Singapore.
The total export volume for the period January-March 2017 was 119.72 Million Kgs compared to 128.32 Million Kgs recorded same period of last year.
Local tea consumption for March 2017 stood at 2.18 Million Kgs against 2.25 Million Kgs for the corresponding period of 2016 while cumulative tea consumption for the first three months period upto March 2017 was 7.08 Million Kgs against 6.95 Million Kgs for the same period of 2016.