Kenya to emulate Sri Lanka for tea value addition

August 28, 2007 (LBO) – Kenya is hoping to learn from Sri Lanka to add value to tea and earn more revenue in the face of sharp falls in prices for her tea, reports from the East African nation said. Economic analysts have earlier said that Sri Lanka’s efficient shipping, as well as the flexibility of exporters who give favourable payment terms and cater to the special packaging needs of Middle Eastern buyers who want to ship tea across borders, have also played a part in the high prices paid for the island’s tea. In July 2007 Kenyan tea prices had fallen by 22 percent with producers rushing to clear a backlog of stocks, Kenya’s Business Daily newspaper said.

The average auction price of Kenyan tea had dropped from 2.25 dollars to 1.74 dollars.

Over the last two decades auction prices have moved between 1.50 dollars and 2.50 dollars per kilogram.

The newspaper said Kenyan production was high during the first half of 2007, growing by 48 percent with good rainfall in most producing areas, though a cold spell had pushed June production down by four percent.

In June Pakistan had bought 5.6 million kilograms of tea or 23 percent of Kenya’s total export volume.

Kenya is usual