Kenya’s Tea Exports Remain High Despite Egyptian Strife

The political unrest in Egypt, one of the largest importers of Kenyan tea, has not financially disturbed the tea market in Kenya, as The Star reports. As confirmed by The Tea Board of Kenya, other parties have gained interest in buying Kenyan tea, the crops of which are faring well due to favorable weather.Tea Board of Kenya

Months of political unrest and violent protests have plagued Egypt, a country responsible for importing around 20% of Kenya’s tea. Kenya’s economy thrives off of exporting tea, with nearly $1 billion coming in from the exporting of 2012’s product.

While many Kenyan tea traders have expressed concern about exporting to the unstable Egypt, The Tea Board of Kenya has stated that the combination of favorable weather and new interested buyers have made up for any discrepancies in trading with Egypt.

“Our monthly analysis does not show any major variations. The tea that went to the auction last week and the previous week was bought by other actors in the market,” Zakayo Magara, Tea Board of Kenya’s chief executive, wrote in an e-mailed statement.

Magara also noted that The Tea Board of Kenya will need more time to extensively research and analyze the long-term effects of the lack of trading with Egypt.

“We will be looking at how the situation pans out in the next six months before the close of the year, by which time it should be possible to make a definite and accurate conclusion on the situation and impact,” he said.

The tea traders in Kenya have recently focused on other buyers in the Middle East while still waiting for Egyptian buyers.

“We are now focused on Pakistan and Afghanistan, which consume a lot of our tea as well. We also have a few orders from Egypt, which is an improvement from last week. We hope the end of Ramadan improves the markets further,” said Kevin Dago, a Kenyan tea exporter who ships tea to Egypt and other Arab countries.

Pakistan has just recently become Kenya’s biggest tea importer while Egypt is the second largest.

SOURCE: The Star