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Kenya's higher output squashes Burundi's tea earnings

12 August 2013, 17:07

Nairobi - Burundi's tea export earnings fell 14.3 per cent in the six months to June from the same period in 2012, partly due to higher output by Kenya and political turmoil in Egypt, the tea board said on Monday.

The state-run tea board (OTB) said earnings dropped to $11.9 million in the first half from $13.9 million the year before. It exported 4 613 262 kg versus 4 882 512 kg last year.

"Export prices and earnings fell since March as cumulative volumes in Kenya grew sharply," OTB's export official, Joseph Marc Ndahigeze, said.

Kenya is biggest exporter of black tea in the world.

"The Egypt crisis also contributed to the decline in prices, because Egypt is among the biggest clients of the tea sold at Mombasa auction," Ndahigeze said.

Landlocked Burundi exports 80 percent of its tea through a regional weekly auction held in Mombasa.

OTB said the average price for Burundian tea fell to $2.59 per kilogram (kg) from $2.85 a year earlier.

Tea is Burundi's second-largest hard currency earner after coffee and it offers a livelihood to some 300,000 small farmers in the east African nation of over 8 million people.

- Reuters


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