Rwanda’s tea is selling at a premium at the Mombasa Tea Auction, overshadowing price offers on Kenyan produce as international buyers focus on quality.
Market data from the auction indicates the price of Rwandan tea stood at $2.71 a kilo in the sale held last week against Kenya’s $2.14 for the same quantity.
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) offering emerged the second-best tea in terms of value at the auction, fetching $2.47 a kilo.
At the tail end was Ugandan tea which fetched $1.35 per kilo.
Rwanda has often led when it comes to the best tea, fetching a premium price compared with others from the region.
“The quality of Rwandan tea has always been high and this is the sole reason the beverage always attracts a premium price,” said a tea broker at the auction.
On average, all the tea at the auction fetched $2.04 per kilo. These teas comprise the ones that are processed by KTDA, multinational firms and other 10 countries that sell their beverage through the Mombasa auction.
All the regional teas are marketed at the Mombasa auction by the East African Tea Traders Association before they are shipped out of the country.
Kenya, which is the leading tea exporter in the world, leads the auction in terms of volumes with more than three quarter of the produce traded coming from the country.
Prices have remained low at the auction in recent months in what has been attributed to high volumes of the commodity.
However, the prices have picked up in the last two sales, hitting a five-month high in the latest trading.
Kenya's Tea Directorate said production, which had already started declining in the last three months, will remain depressed for the remainder of the year because of the cold season witnessed in June and July and cessation of rain.
Last week’s volumes dropped by 1.4 million kilos to mark one of the highest declines since the beginning of the year.
The volumes have been declining in the last five sales occasioned by low volumes coming in from the factories.