Rwanda’s tea sales at the Kenyan-based Mombasa Tea Auction Market this week increased by 12.7 per cent to US$3.5m (Rwf2.1b) from US$3.1m (Rwf1.8b) the previous week.
This week’s tea trading mainly attracted buyers from Pakistan, UK, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan. The tea on offer at the auction is from various regions within and outside Africa.
According to the weekly tea report from the tea division of National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB), out of the 99,510 kilogrammes on offer this week, 91,133.5 kilogrammes were sold generating Rwf2.1b.
The figures are solely attributed to Mulindi and Shagasha tea factories which are government controlled.
“In the past three weeks, pirates have changed tactics and they no longer hijack ships but now kidnap people. This made tea transportation safe which led to a shoot up in sales,” the Managing Director, Tea Division at NAEB, Anthony Butera explained.
On the decline of tea volumes, Butera noted that there was a one week delay in transportation of the commodity to the point of sale.
Despite the increased sales, the report indicates that the volume offered slid by 10.3 per cent from 110,952 kilogrammes last week to 99,510 kilogrammes this week.
This week’s trading was the 41st of the year. Last week’s sales, dubbed trading number 40, soared by 49.5 per cent compared to trading number 39 the week before. The figures increased from US$2.1m (Rwf1.2 billion) during trading number 39 to US$3.1m (Rwf1.8 billion) last week.
The price of the green leaf currently stands at Rwf100 for the 60-69 per cent range while the quality of leaf above 70 per cent is selling at Rwf105.
The Mombasa auction centre has 55 buyers. Auctions are held weekly with Mondays being for the secondary auction and Tuesday the trading day for the main grade tea.
The auction centre is the second largest black tea auction in the world after Colombo in Sri Lanka but surpasses the latter in production because in Kenya tea production is all year round and not seasonal.