Rwanda Tea Export Income Jumps on Higher Regional Auction Prices

Rwandan tea export earnings increased 40 percent in the first eleven months of 2015, boosted by higher prices as output rose, according to the state-run agriculture export body.

Earnings jumped to $66.3 million from January through November last year, from $47.3 million a year earlier, as export volumes rose about 10 percent to 22.67 million kilograms (50 million pounds), Pie Ntwari, an officer with the National Agricultural Export Development Board, said Wednesday in an interview in the capital, Kigali.

The average price rose to $2.92 per kilogram, from $2.29 a year earlier, at the regional weekly auction in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, where Rwanda sells most of its tea.

Tea is one of the top generators of foreign exchange in the East African nation, along with coffee, tourism and mining, and agriculture is the country’s biggest source of employment.

The value of coffee shipments rose to $56.3 million in the same period, compared with $56 million a year earlier, said Ntwari.

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