NAIROBI: The average price for top grade Kenyan tea fell to $2.98 per kg at this week's sale from $3.61 at the previous sale, brokers said on Tuesday.
Mombasa-based Africa Tea Brokers (ATB) said the amount of tea rose to 148,370 packages with just over a quarter going unsold as large stocks were held up at Mombasa's port and in warehouses. Last week 145,391 packages were offered with 16,440 going unsold.
ATB said Best BP1s sold at $3.40-$2.56 per kg, down from $3.66-$3.55 per kg last week. Best Pekoe Fanning Ones fetched $3.76-$3.18 per kg from $3.68-$3.28 per kg last week.
ATB said Kazakhstan and Russia showed strong support and Sudan was more active. There was less interest from Egyptian Packers, while Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries maintained interest.
Kenya is the world's leading exporter of black tea. In 2011, the auction at the port city of Mombasa handled 247.3 million kg of Kenyan tea, down from 259 million in 2010.
The total amount of tea sold in 2011 through the auction, including that from neighbouring producers like Burundi, fell by 4.1 percent to 333.9 million kg from 348.15 million in 2010.
Kenya expects to earn a record 106 billion shillings ($1.2 billion) from tea exports in 2011, up from 97 billion shillings in 2010.