EAC tea in­take poised to in­crease in the next decade

The East African - - BUSINESS - By MARYANNE GICOBI The Eastafrican

EAST AFRICAN coun­tries could lead the world in growth in con­sump­tion of tea dur­ing the next decade, even as they oc­cupy top po­si­tions in ex­ports of the com­mod­ity.

Es­ti­mates by the Food and Agri­cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion show that Rwanda will lead in growth at nine per cent fol­lowed by Uganda at five per cent and Kenya at 4.4 per cent.

Libya ly­ing at 4.4 per cent, Morocco at 4.2 per cent and Malawi at 4.2 per cent are the next top three coun­tries.

Western coun­tries are ex­pected to wit­ness lower con­sump­tion of tea with mar­kets such as the UK pro­ject­ing neg­a­tive in­take as black tea strug­gles to main­tain con­sumers’ in­ter­est amid grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion from other drinks like cof­fee and bot­tled wa­ter.

“While world tea con­sump­tion has in­creased over the past decade, tra­di­tional im­port­ing Euro­pean coun­tries, with the ex­cep­tion of Ger­many, have seen a de­cline in con­sump­tion lev­els. Over­all, the Euro­pean tea mar­ket is largely sat­u­rated. Per capita con­sump­tion has been de­clin­ing for more than a decade, fac­ing com­pe­ti­tion from other bev­er­ages, par­tic­u­larly bot­tled wa­ter,” an FAO re­port shows.

Ma­jor ex­porters coun­tries are ex­pected to re­main the same, with Kenya be­ing the largest fol­lowed by In­dia, Sri Lanka, Ar­gentina, Viet­nam, Uganda, Tan­za­nia, Rwanda, Malawi and China.

Data from the FAO’S In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Group on tea shows that world tea pro­duc­tion in­creased by 4.4 per cent in the past decade, with China re­spon­si­ble for the ac­cel­er­ated growth.

China’s pro­duc­tion more than dou­bled from 1.2 mil­lion tonnes in 2007 to 2.4 mil­lion tonnes in 2016. “The ex­pan­sion in China will be sig­nif­i­cant as out­put will ap­proach that of Kenya, the largest black tea ex­porter, un­der­pinned by strong growth in do­mes­tic de­mand for black teas such as Pu’er,” states the FAO re­port.

“World tea ex­ports in­creased an­nu­ally by 1.4 per cent over the past decade to reach 1.75 mil­lion tonnes in 2016 un­der­pinned by larger ship­ments from Kenya, with ex­ports reach­ing a record level of 436,924 tonnes in 2016, a 16 per cent in­crease from 2015, as well as strong an­nual growth of 3.4 per cent in green tea ex­ports.”

World pro­duc­tion of black tea is pro­jected to rise an­nu­ally by 2.2 per cent over the next decade to reach 4.4 mil­lion tonnes in 2027, re­flect­ing ma­jor out­put in­creases in China, Kenya and Sri Lanka. “With this, China will reach the out­put lev­els of Kenya,” states the FAO.

Pic­ture: File

Rwan­dan tea farm­ers plan to in­crease pro­duc­tion as the sec­tor con­tin­ues to ben­e­fit from re­forms.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.