In Kenya, the tea export segment has just undergone a major upheaval. The United Kingdom indeed lost its traditional position of third importer to the benefit of the United Arab Emirates during the month of February.
According to data from the tea directory, the European country has acquired 4,200 tonnes of the leaf against 4,220 tonnes for the Emirates. According to the industry regulator, this passing of the baton can be explained by the various restrictive measures imposed on the United Kingdom to stem the coronavirus pandemic and which have affected import activities.
More generally, some observers indicate that this change marks a new stage for the sector which is seeking new outlets beyond European countries. The top 3 buyers of the Kenyan leaf thus no longer includes any country from the Old Continent.
The first two places are occupied respectively by Pakistan and Egypt which absorbed nearly 27,000 tons of tea leaves, or 56% of the total during the month of February (48,000 tons). In Kenya, the tea sector provides income for more than 600,000 households.