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Burundi tea earnings dip on Kenya output rise, Egypt turmoil

11 September 2013, 15:39

Bujumbura - Higher Kenyan output and turmoil in big consumer Egypt hurt Burundi's July revenues from tea, the east African nation's second-biggest hard currency earner, figures showed on Wednesday.

Burundi's tea export earnings dipped to $2.60 million in July from $2.76 million in the same month a year before despite higher volumes, the state-run tea board (OTB) said.

Total exports in July were 1,166,363 kg versus 847,633 kg sold in the same month of 2012.

The landlocked country, whose main source of hard currency comes from coffee sales, exports 80 percent of its tea through a regional weekly auction held in Mombasa.

The price for Burundian tea fell to $2.23 per kg in July from $3.26 a year earlier, tea board data showed.

"Cumulative production in Kenya between January and July 2013 grew sharply, and this has had bad effects on our export prices and earnings," OTB official Joseph Marc Ndahigeze said, adding turmoil in Egypt also hit earnings.

Kenya is the region's biggest producer of tea and the world's top exporter of black tea.

OTB said January-to-July cumulative earnings fell to $14.5 million from $16.6 million last year.

- Reuters


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