Kenyan tea traders are facing challenges, dollar shortage blamed

Kenyan tea traders are facing challenges in getting payment for their produce in key markets such as Egypt due to a shortage of U.S. dollars in the North African nation.

The challenge came several weeks after tea from Kenya was stuck at the port of Karachi in Pakistan as the Asian nation struggled with a shortage of dollars. Pakistan has listed Kenyan tea as one of its essential commodities and Pakistan’s central bank approved the use of dollars as the transaction currency in the tea industry.

Egypt and Pakistan are some of Kenya’s major markets for tea, with the two accounting for 55 percent of exports.

The East African nation’s tea exports stood at 1.04 billion dollars with 410 million kilos in 2022, an increase from 1.02 billion dollars with 388 million kilos in 2021, according to the Tea Board of Kenya. The rise in earnings was attributed to the weaker Kenyan shilling.

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