MOMBASA, KENYA: African tea prices fell 1.8% to their lowest this year at the world’s biggest auction, in Mombasa, Kenya, Africa Tea Brokers Ltd reported, without giving a reason.
Tea slipped to an average of $1.64 (Rs72.46) a kilogram at the sale on 19 and 20 February , from $1.67 at last week’s sale, Mombasa-based African Tea Brokers, which operates the auction, said in an e- mailed report on 22 February.
Kenyan tea was the most expensive, trading at an average of $1.72 a kilogram. Tea from Zambia was the cheapest, selling for an average of 68 cents a kilogram.
African Tea sold 94% of the 7.8 million kilograms (17.2 million pounds) on offer this week. It plans to sell 7.1 million kilograms at the next auction on 26 and 27 February, and 6.9 million at next month’s first sale.
Tea is also sold at auctions in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and at sales in Malawi, India and Indonesia. Argentina grows tea for sale in North America.
At this week’s auction in Colombo, 5 million kilograms of tea was on offer and sold for as much as 495 Sri Lankan rupees ($4.55) a kilogram, African Tea said.
Unilever’s Lipton Ltd unit was the biggest buyer of African tea last year. The company bought 23% of the 282.3 million kilograms sold, African Tea said on 22 December.