Tea exports up 31% in export value on strong dollar

Kenya’s tea industry has experienced a significant surge in export value partly due to strong dollar and expansion of foreign markets the Kenya Tea Industry Performance Report of 2023 shows.

The industry recorded its highest-ever increase in export value of 31 percent or Kes42.48 billion between 2022 and 2023.

This remarkable growth was driven by an increase in the volume of exports and stable prices, which boosted export earnings from tea to Kes180.57 billion, up from Kes138.09 billion the previous year.

The total export volume of tea also saw a substantial increase, reaching 522.92 million kilograms in 2023 compared to 450.33 million kilos in 2022. This translates to a 16 percent jump in tea export volume, totaling 72.58 million bags, despite the weakened shilling at the time.

The report attributes the significant rise in export earnings to favorable exchange rates of the Kenyan Shilling to the dollar. Although the export price was slightly lower in dollar terms at $2.47 per kilogram compared to $2.62 in 2022, a favorable exchange rate at 139.85 compared to 117.87 in the previous year resulted in a higher unit price of Kes345.32, up from Kes306.64 in 2022.

Last year, Kenyan tea was exported to 92 destinations, marking a market expansion from the 82 countries reported in 2022. The majority of these foreign markets are traditional markets for Kenya tea and accounted for 83.1 percent of the Kenya tea export volume.

The top 10 tea buyers for Kenya last year were Pakistan, Egypt, UK, UAE, Yemen, Russia, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Poland.

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