Revenues from tea exports climbed by 2.5 percent to $1.92 million in the month of January from $1.8 million in the same month last year, occasioned by high and stable international prices.
Rwanda tea authority, Ocir- Thé, said the increase was realized through the weekly sales at the Mombasa auction market as well as direct sales to tea dealers.
“We have been able to earn more than we did last year because the international prices for tea have increased,” Lea Gisimba, marketing and sales officer of Ocir-Thé said.
Average prices for January tea have increased to $2.73 per kilogram compared to the $2.11 per kilogram during the same period last year.
However, the quantity of tea sold in January last year was higher than what has been sold this year, reducing from 889,507Kgs to 702,041Kgs
The increase in prices and revenues was also attributed to the high demand of tea that arises from less supply.
“Late last year and early this year, we experienced a dry season that led to low supply at Mombasa, hence the high demand,” added Gisimba.
Rwanda exports most of its tea to the Arab world including Sudan, Egypt, Dubai, Afghanistan as well as Europe to the United Kingdom and Russia.
Authorities said in earlier interviews that farm gate prices have remained stable at Rwf86 per kilogramme of green leaf tea. But Ocir-Thé said that negotiations are ongoing between stakeholders to increase farm gate prices higher than the current value per kilogramme.
It is expected that Rwanda’s tea supplies at the Mombasa auction market will continue to exhibit an upward trend up to the end of this month.
With the favorable rains coupled with the application of fertilizers, the authority anticipates higher production.
On the international market, tea prices have been rising slightly because of a fall in production following unfavorable weather conditions in India while the demand for the commodity in Europe remains strong.