Prolonged delay of long rains in the country, that led to drought in certain counties, was a big gain for South Asian Country, India, the country’s media reports.
Reports indicate as tea production diminished, the Indian second flush tea slowly gained entry into the Kenyan-tea dominated global market.
In a report in the India Times on Tuesday, Azam Monem,who is the former chairman of Indian Tea Association, disclosed that India is gaining big from the drought situation in Kenya.
“Last year, Kenya had produced a record crop of 492.9 million kg, which had dampened the price of teas in the global markets. Indian teas also suffered due to this price fall. But this year, the crop in Kenya will be much less,” he said.
Monem, currently director at McLeod Russel India Company, said tea industries in Kenya sent many of their staff on leave due to decreased production of the cash crop by half.
Stressing his point, Monem added that factories in Kenya have been forced to assign a good percentage of their employees “to non-core duties due to a prolonged drought” that paralyzed tea production.
Indian Industry executives indicates that prices of Kenyan tea have gone up by 15 per cent, which is likely to boost market for the Indian second flush teas.
Further, the executives project that Indian tea export to countries such as Egypt, UK, Pakistan, Russia and Afghanistan is expected to rise due to a shortage of Kenyan CTC teas in the global market.
They project that if the drought situation in the country, which they say might prolong judging from a recent meteorological report, the Indian tea will thrive.
“In Kenya, winter sets in May-June and there will be no crop in July. This is the time when second flush teas from our country are available in volumes. So, this may turn out to be an opportunity for us and our export volumes can go up too,” Monem said.
Monem adds that Kenyan tea prices may shoot to Ksh300 ($3) per kg within the next fortnight due to the shortfall.
The report indicates that Kenyan tea is currently selling at Ksh.230 -240 ($2.3 – $2.4) per kg at the Mombasa auctions.
The sentiments come a time many parts of the country are receiving heavy rainfall, that has resulted to some counties experiencing floods, contrary to early reports by the meteorological department that the country was not going to experience long rains at all.
The acting Deputy Director of Kenya Meteorological Department Bernard Chanzu blamed the failed rains on climate change.
“The bigger picture about prolonged dry spell which means a drought is foreseeable is growing increasingly clear,” said Chanzu.
Earlier April, the met department indicated that the Kenyan rains were ‘stuck’ in Tanzania due to low pressure, and would come late.
“The seasonal rains are caused by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone but currently it hasn’t moved northwards. It is sitting in Tanzania, the high-pressure systems in the south have not strengthened to the point that they will push the ITCZ so there will just be a delay, but the rains will come towards the end of the month,” a statement in the dailies read in part.