Tea processed by Nyabihu Tea Factory on Tuesday sold at a record price of $7.22 (about Rwf6,624.89) per kilogramme, the highest price in the history of the Mombasa trading where a dozen producers from the region sell their tea.
Mombasa is the second-largest black tea auction centre in the world after Colombo, Sri-Lanka.
At the 45th auction of the East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA), the company’s ‘BP1 grade’ – the highest quality – earned the highest bid two times in a row.
Thushara Pinidiya, the Director of Nyabihu Tea Factory told Business Times that it was all down to the good manufacturing practices and best plantation management.
“We follow basic, but best principles of manufacturing. Farmers also a big role because they supply us with tea leaves whose quality determines the quality of tea we produce,” he said.
The recent highest bid in October last month on Mombasa auction was earned by the same tea processing company at $6.64 (about Rwf6,096) per kilo.
Nyabihu Tea Factory is based in the Nyabihu District, Western Province with tea plantation covering at 1,043.54 hectares.
Last year, the company sold 1.5 million kilos of tea with Pinidiya saying that they anticipate to sell 1.8 million kilos and 2 million kilos this year and 2020, respectively.
According to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), last month Rwanda sold 1,968,267 kilos of tea at an average price of $3.07 per kilo at the Mombasa tea auction.
It was followed by Kenya which sold the biggest volume of 33,971,386 kilos at an average price of $2.33 per kilo.
The same period last year, Rwanda had sold 1,708,711 kilos at an average price of $2.72 per kilo followed by Kenya that had sold 34,098,480 Kilos at an average price of $2.42.
Last month, the Rwandan teas were sold to UK, Pakistani, Egyptian, Kazakhstani, Afghanistan and Middle East markets among others.
Tea along with coffee are Rwanda’s top export crops.
The country’s tea export volumes have been increasing, but international tea prices have been growing affecting Rwanda’s export revenues.
Tea exports revenues decreased by 5 per cent from $88 million in 2017/2018 to 83 million in 2018/2019. However, exports volumes increased by 10 per cent from 27 tonnes to 30 tonnes.
Coffee revenues decreased from 69 million in 2017/2018 to $68 million in 2018/2019 whereas the export quantities increased by 6 per cent from 20,000 tonnes to 21,000 tonnes in 2018/2019.
The average price of Rwanda Coffee was $3.41 per kilogramme in 2017/2018, which reduced by 7 per cent to $3.18 a kilogramme in 2018/2019.
For tea, a kilogramme was sold at $3.17 a kilogramme and it reduced to $2.73 a kilogramme in 2018/2019.