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Kenya Tea Industry Performance Highlights

Kenya Tea Industry Performance Highlights for 2023

During the year 2023, the total export volume increased by 16% (72.58 Million Kgs) from 450.33 Million Kgs recorded in 2022 to 522.92 Million Kgs. Owing to increased volume of exports coupled with favourable exchange rate to the USD and stable prices, the export earnings from tea reached a record of Kshs. 180.57 Billion from Kshs. 138.09 Billion the previous year. This represented a 31% increase in value of exports (Kshs. 42.48 Billion) and is the best earnings ever recorded by the tea industry over the years.  During the year, the export unit price was slightly lower in dollar terms at USD 2.47 per Kg compared to USD 2.62 in the previous year. However, due to favourable exchange rate to the USD at 139.85 compared to 117.87 in the previous year, the unit price was much higher at Kshs. 345.32 compared to Kshs. 306.64 in the previous year.

During the year, Pakistan maintained its position as the leading export destination for Kenya tea having imported 209.59 Million Kgs, which was an increase of 15% compared to 181.98 Million Kgs imported during the year 2022. Pakistan imports from Kenya accounted for 40% of the total export volume, whose value was Kshs. 75.22 Billion.

During the year 2023, Kenya tea was shipped to ninety-two (92) export destinations compared eighty-two (82) in the year 2022. Apart from Pakistan, other key export destinations for Kenya tea were Egypt whose import volume was 65.89 Million Kgs worth Kshs. 22.05 Billion; UK (46.14 Million Kgs valued at Kshs. 14.67 Billion); UAE (28.61 Million Kgs valued at Kshs. 10.15 Billion); Yemen (22.69 Million Kgs valued at Kshs. 9.11 Billion); Russia (18.34 Million Kgs valued at Kshs. 5.25 Billion); Iran (12.40 Million Kgs valued at Kshs. 4.28 Billion); Sudan (12.13 Million Kgs valued at Kshs. 2.92 Billion); Afghanistan (10.65 Million Kgs valued at Kshs.  3.69 Billion); and  Poland (8.11 Million Kgs valued at Kshs. 2.36 Billion). The top ten export destinations, majority of which are traditional markets for Kenya tea accounted for 83.1% of Kenya tea export volume. Compared to the year 2022, more exports were recorded in traditional markets with the exception of UAE, Russia and Sudan, which for the quite a while have been facing market access challenges occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine crisis and internal conflict in Sudan, respectively. Cumulatively for the year 2023, the quantity of tea exports to Russia was down by 4% while in Sudan it was lower by about 39% compared to the year 2022. During the beginning of the year 2023, the Government through the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture held a bi-lateral engagement with Pakistan Government which forestalled a similar challenge of forex that had characterized Pakistan following which forex allocation for importation of tea as an essential food item was prioritized. Going forward, similar bi-lateral engagements will be required with markets such as Russia, where the industry has been importing fertilizer for tea, as well as other markets such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and Turkey, where balance of payments is skewed against Kenya. Enhanced promotion activities will also be undertaken by TBK to maintain the presence of Kenya tea in traditional markets and ensure access into new and emerging markets.

Notably, Chad which is an emerging market for Kenya tea recorded significant increase in exports from Kenya. Prior to the conflict in Sudan, Chad which is a land locked country, would get its commodity supplies including tea from Sudan. However, due to the blockage of trade routes from Sudan, Chad has now shifted to Nigeria and Cameroon as alternative sources of commodity supplies and imports transhipment.

Similarly, there were exports to emerging markets such as South Sudan; Swaziland; Cameroon; Ethiopia; Congo DRC; Central African Republic; Senegal; Lebanon; Niger; Mauritania; Bahrain; Turkmenistan; Belarus; Guinea; Venezuela; El Salvador; and Benin. These markets usually import tea in value added form.






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