Kenya’s Tea Trade Triumph: Navigating Challenges and Charting Growth in Global Markets

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Hello tea enthusiasts! Kenya isn’t just a safari destination; it’s also rocking the tea scene! Ranking third globally, Kenya pumps out a whopping 22% of the world’s tea exports, earning the title of Africa’s top tea exporter and the kingpin of black tea!

Black Tea from Kenya

In November 2023, Kenya’s tea export value soared to approximately 17.8 billion Kenyan shillings (KSh), roughly equivalent to 110 million U.S. dollars, marking a notable increase from the previous month’s 16.1 billion KSh (about 99 million U.S. dollars).

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), between January and November 2023, Kenya raked in a whopping 1.05 billion U.S. dollars from exporting 511,000 tonnes of tea. This represented a significant uptick from the 860 million dollars earned in 2022, stemming from a volume of 410 million kg.

Export value of tea in Kenya

These impressive figures not only gave Kenya’s GDP a boost, which was reported at 5.9% for Q3 2023, but also solidified its position as a key player in the global tea market. Furthermore, the tea industry played a vital role in providing jobs for over 3 million Kenyans, directly and indirectly, contributing to economic stability both at home and abroad.

Kenya GDP


Since 2020, the Kenyan Shilling (KES) has experienced a continuous depreciation against the US Dollar (USD), plummeting from 100 KES to a record-breaking high of 163.00 in January 2024. This depreciation in the KESUSD exchange rate has led to a substantial decline in the value of exports when denominated in USD.

Technical Analysis

In technical trading terms, the current price of tea is 0.0266, reflecting a downtrend from the previous month’s 0.0271 and a year-on-year decrease from 0.0277. This translates to a monthly decline of -2.07% and a yearly decline of -4.05%. Additionally, over the past four decades, tea auction prices have consistently declined in real terms, with pronounced drops observed in the last three years, primarily due to disruptions in logistics induced by the pandemic.

Despite facing challenges such as the Ukraine-Russia conflict, inflationary pressures in developed economies, and sluggish sales in key markets like Sudan and Russia, Kenya’s tea earnings have displayed resilience. This suggests that despite adverse external factors impacting the tea industry, Kenya has managed to maintain a robust position in the market. However, continued monitoring of market dynamics and proactive measures to address logistical challenges will be essential to sustain and potentially improve tea earnings in the future.


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