Kenya Tea Production Climbed in January, Exports Advanced 13%

Tea production in Kenya, the world’s biggest exporter of black tea, rose in January.

Output climbed to 36.2 million kilograms (79.8 million pounds) compared with 35.9 million kilograms a year earlier, Sicily Kariuki, managing director of the Kenya Tea Board, said in an e-mailed response to questions. Frost and dry weather didn’t have a major impact on production, she said.

Tea exports climbed 13 percent to 37.9 million kilograms compared with 33.6 million kilograms a year earlier, Kariuki said. Average auction prices were $2.91 a kilogram compared with $3.16, she said.

Tea is the biggest source of foreign currency in Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy. The country produced 377.9 million kilograms of the crop last year, earning 109 billion shillings ($1.3 billion). Agriculture accounts for 21 percent of Kenya’s total economic output.

-- Editors: Alex Devine, Tony Barrett

To contact the reporter on this story: Consolatah Lucas in Mombasa With assistance from and Johnstone Ole Turana in Nairobi.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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