Rwandan tea sales at the weekly Mombasa auction market slid 14.7 per cent during this week’s trading compared to the previous week owing to increased supply and low demand.
Statistics from the tea division in the National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB), indicate that the country’s tea sales went down trading from US$2.5m (Rwf1.5b) last week to US$2.1m (Rwf1.2b) this week.
Most East African tea is traded at the Mombasa tea auction market. It attracts buyers from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. It is active on Monday and Tuesday.
“We have entered a wet season where production and supply increases. This means if production is high, the supply will increase and the quality will be low hence the low sales we are experiencing,” the Managing Director, Tea Division in NAEB, Anthony Butera explained.
Butera further explained that the low sales and volumes sold is also due to the Indian Ocean pirates from Somalia which makes tea shipment difficult.
He further noted that buyers from India and Europe find it difficult to ship the commodity and they sometimes decide not to buy leading to a low turnover.
Figures from NAEB indicate that volumes traded between Monday and Tuesday this week went down by 12.4 per cent from 77,526.6 kilograms last week to 67,930.5 this week.
According to the East African Tea Export Auctions report of last week’s trading, Afghanistan and Egyptian Packers maintained interest but at lower levels while Yemen, other Middle Eastern countries and Iran showed more activity but there was less support from Pakistan Packers, Bazaar, Sudan, Kazakhstan (CIS) and Russia. UK was less active and more selective. Somalia was active at the lower end of the market.
Rwanda’s first semester sales went up from US$32.9m (Rwf19.6b) in the first six months of 2010 to US$34.3m (Rwf20.4b) this year.
Total sales realised in the first semester of 2011 at national level amounts to 12,565, 944 million kilograms generating Rwf20.4 billion with an average price of US$2.73 (Rwf1,627) per Kg.
Currently, prices of the green leaf firm stand at Rwf100 for the 60-69 per cent range while the quality of the leaf above 70 per cent stands at Rwf105.