Kenyaâ?s tea production increased to 37.7 million kgs in January due to good rains, a 47 percent rise compared to the 25.4 million kgs produced in January 2009, the Tea Board of Kenya said Wednesday.
The output for the month was also higher by 27 percent compared to the 29.7 million kgs recorded in January 2008, but lower by 9 percent compared to a record production of 41.6 million kgs registered in January 2007, the Tea Board said in a statement.
Kenyaâ?s tea exports were also bolstered by the cold weather in Europe, which led to increased demand for tea.
The total export volume for the month of January stood at 39.2 million kgs, which was 12 percent higher compared to 34.9 million kgs recorded in the same period of 2009.
The Tea Board said the improved production for the month of January 2010 compared to similar periods of 2009 and 2008 was due to wet weather conditions experienced in tea growing areas during the first half of the month.
West of Rift recorded increased output of 48 percent from 15.4 million kgs recorded in January 2009 to 22.8 million kgs while East of Rift recorded an increase of 47 percent from 10 million kgs recorded in January 2009 to 14.8 million kgs.
Compared to the month of January 2009, tea output within smallholder sub-sector increased by 49 percent from 14.4 million kgs to 21.6 million kgs.
The large-scale tea farmers, also known as the Plantation sub-sector, recorded an increase of 45 percent from 11 million kgs to 16. million kgs.
In January, Kenyan tea was shipped to 34 export destinations across the world. Egypt maintained the lead having imported 7.7 million kgs of tea, which accounted for 20 percent of the total export volume.
The United Kingdom imported 7 million kgs from Kenya while Pakistan, which has been the leading export destination for Kenya, stood at a distant third, importing 6.6 million kgs.
Afghanistan imported 6 million kgs while Sudan imported 1.9 million kgs.
Some other five export destinations accounted for 74 percent of Kenya tea export volume.
There was also significant growth in Kenya tea exports to most market destinations in Europe, North America and Middle East due to increased demand occasioned by higher consumption during the winter season, the Tea Board said.