Rwanda is eying the Middle East as the main market for her tea bag exports, with 40,000 cartons of tea bags and lose packet in Dubai ready to be traded. Tea is Rwanda’s biggest export commodity.
Antoine Butera Director General of Rwanda Tea Authority said that the teas were shipped to Dubai tea trading centre where they were branded and packet ready to be traded.
“We intend to penetrate the Middle East market and other international markets through supermarkets in Dubai that have branches worldwide,” Butera emphasized.
Butera said they also intend to contact brokers who can sell on a daily basis and experienced branders and packers to advise how to penetrate the market.
Rwanda tea packers which is involved in value addition of tea has a 40 percent stake owned by Ocir thé, and 60 percent stake controlled by Rwanda mountain tea. Butera said that import duties on value added teas are relatively high and is likely to deter exports of tea bags.
“It’s a blow, and it discourages the hard work undertaken in value addition.
Rwanda’s exports in the first half of 2010 remained dominated by traditional export products such as coffee, tea and minerals which accounted for 64.2 percent of the country’s total export earnings.
Tea exports increased by 35.6 percent and 19.3 percent in value and volume terms respectively, due to high international prices, the Central Bank said in its monetary policy statement.
Tea prices on the international market averaged $ 2.65 /Kg in the first half of 2010 compared to $ 2.33 in the same period last year.