The Mintec Global Tea Index has been decreasing in April 2019, driven by outstanding Kenyan production during the first three months of 2019. According to the latest statistics from the Kenyan Tea Board, Kenyan output in 2019 (January to March) rose by 7% y-o-y, to 106.29m kg. The exported volumes have increased by 1% y-o-y for the same period, solely led by active interest from Egypt, whose imports from Kenya increased by 12.6m kg compared to 2018 (+80% y-o-y). As supply was outstripping demand, Kenyan tea prices decreased by 6% q-o-q.
Climatic conditions in March and April 2019 (as shown by Mintec Analytics Weather maps) in Kenya are confirming earlier concerns over possible droughts in plantations zones. Unfavourable temperatures and precipitation levels are likely to slow down the pace of harvest volumes within the next few months.
In Sri Lanka, the second largest tea exporter, volumes harvested in 2019 between January and February grew 2% y-o-y, a slower growth rate compared to the same period in 2018. However, exports have edged higher than in 2018, rising by 9% y-o-y, headed by high demand from importing countries such as Germany and Lybia notably. This surge in demand directly impacted the prices on Colombo auctions, increasing by 2% q-o-q.