Average tea prices at the weekly Mombasa auction have remained below the preferred 2-dollar mark for nine weeks running, amid increased global production of the commodity.
This week, the commodity averaged $1.83 (Sh195.22 ) a kilo at the auction which is one of the largest in the world where teas from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are traded.
The price is a drop from last week’s $1.85 (Sh197.36 ) even as volumes traded dropped.
This year’s lowest price so far came in the second week of April when a kilo fetched $1.81 (Sh193) .
This week’s auction was marked with increased and strong inquiry from Egyptian packers with more support from Sudan while Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries lent more interest.
Last month, Kenya Tea Development Agency noted persistent high production and a global oversupply, which it said had pushed down the average tea prices for its managed factories.
The low prices so far signal low earnings for farmers, who last year were cushioned by a stronger dollar against the shillings as prices remained low.
The government is currently pushing for reforms in the sector, which it believes will improve farmers’ earnings.