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Demand lifts Burundi tea prices in November

By on December 23, 2009

Burundi’s tea export prices rose slightly in November compared with the month, helped by improved demand, a tea board official said on Wednesday.

The country’s state-run tea board (OTB) said the average export price rose to $2.65 per kg during November from $2.61 per kg the previous month.

“Buyers were interested in buying a lot of tea compared with the previous month, when they had been reluctant,” senior OTB official Remy Ndayininahaze told Reuters. “Great signs of demand were there and this has boosted prices.”

But he said overall earnings had slumped in November because of a fall in the volume exported.

OTB exported 265,169 kg worth $703,286 in November, compared with 375,807 kg in October that brought in $980,049.

Between January and November this year the board has collected $14.2 million from the export of $5,903 tonnes. It said it earned $12.1 million in the same period in 2008 from the export of 5,490 tonnes.

The landlocked country exports 80 percent of its tea to a regional weekly auction held in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.

OTB projects Burundi’s overall earnings for 2009 at $15 million versus $13.7 million in 2008.

It estimates that output will reach 7,500 tonnes this year, up from 7,000 tonnes in 2008, mostly due to good rains and the increased use of fertilisers on farms.

Tea is Burundi’s second-biggest hard currency earner after coffee and it employs some 300,000 smallholder farmers in the landlocked country of about 8 million people.

Reuters.

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