Kenya’s tea export earnings, output seen rising in 2018

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    Kenya’s tea export earnings are forecast to rise further this year, while total output is expected to improve after a fall in production last year, the Agriculture and Food Authority’s Tea Directorate said on Monday.

    Export earnings will rise 5 percent in 2018 to 135 billion shillings ($1.33 billion), while total output is expected to hit 452 million kg buoyed by good weather conditions, after drought had cut the country’s production in 2017, the directorate said in a statement.

    The East African nation is the biggest exporter of black tea in the world, and tea is also the leading source of foreign exchange.

    Total export earnings rose to 129 billion shillings in 2017 – the highest in five years – from 120 billion shillings a year earlier, while total output was down 7 percent to 439 million kg.

    Drought hit many parts of Kenya’s farming areas in early 2017, affecting the output of tea while processing factories received fewer deliveries. Export volumes were seen rising slightly to 423 million kg this year from 415 million kg a year ago, the directorate added.

    The average price per kg of tea at the Mombasa-based auction was expected to rise to $3 per kg from $2.98 per kg last year.-Reuters

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