Kenyan Tea Q1 Output Falls After Drought

KENYAN-TEA---CopyKenya’s tea output plunged 27 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from a year before due to dry weather conditions, data from the industry regulator showed.

Kenya is the world’s leading exporter of black tea and the commodity is a major foreign exchange earner for East Africa’s biggest economy.

Data posted on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority’s website seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed that output fell to 81.7 million kg of black tea between January and March from 111.9 million kg in 2014.

Exports, usually higher than output due to leftover stocks, fell 5 percent in the period to 119.2 million kg down from 125.4 million kg over a similar period, the regulator said.

Kenya experienced drought conditions early this year, which affected tea output, leading to less deliveries at factories.

Kenyan tea growers produced 444.8 million kg in 2014, up from 432.2 million kg in 2013.

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