Bloomberg News

Malawi’s Benchmark Tea Price Declines 13% as Quality Falls

June 29, 2011

(Updates with earnings in third paragraph.)

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- The benchmark price of tea in Malawi, Africa’s largest producer of the crop after Kenya, fell 13 percent yesterday as the quality declined, according to Tea Brokers Central Africa, which manages the nation’s tea sales.

The top grade of tea, known as pekoe fannings, fetched $2.52 a kilogram (2.2 pounds) at a sale in the commercial capital, Blantyre, down from $2.91 a week earlier, Tea Brokers said in an e-mailed report today.

Farmers raised $125,952 selling 76,160 kilograms of various grades of the leaf, compared with $207,876 from 138,840 kilograms a week earlier, it said.

Tea is Malawi’s second-largest foreign exchange earner, after tobacco, generating 8 percent of total export earnings. The U.K. is typically the largest buyer of tea from Malawi.

--Editors: Alastair Reed, John Deane.

To contact the reporter on this story: Frank Jomo in Blantyre at fjomo@bloomberg.net

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


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