By Namugerwa Martha
Uganda looses money at the Mombasa auction, the world’s second largest selling centre of tea this season at us$3 per kg in the first 10 weeks of 2017.
Adolf Sabiiti Tumwesige, a sector analyst and a former general manager of Mpanga Growers tea factory in Kabalore says that supplies to the market depend on the weather like how much rain the country or region gets.
“The dry seasons cause almost a 50% reduction in the supply of tea on the market, yet most of the tea that comes from Uganda is graded poorly because of the poor quality.” Tumwesige says.
East Africa Tea Trade Association (EATTA) data indicates that a 20% reduction in supply of tea in the first 10 weeks of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 therefore Uganda lost a lot of money in this year due to the drought that affected many parts of the country.
Since trade statistics of the first 10 trading weeks of the year often signals the performance for the year, 2017 being billed as a good year for the tea section to the dealers in the region Uganda unlike other countries has not benefited from the higher prices according to tea Brokers.
According to the trading numbers for March 7 2017 presented by Africa Tea Brokers, some of the Kenyan sourced tea fetched as high as Kshs 400 (US$3.8) per kg compared to Kshs 250 ( US$2.3) for the highest priced tea from Uganda and Tanzania.