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May 23, 2011

Kenya April 2011 tea output down

Kenyan tea production in April was down 12 percent from a year earlier due to poor rains and the crop for 2011 as a whole was likely to be 10 percent lower than in 2010, the Tea Board of Kenya said on May 23.

The regulator said Kenya, the world's leading exporter of black tea, produced 31.48 million kg of tea in April, down from 35.86 million kg in the same month in 2010.

"Lower production compared to the same period last year was largely attributed to depressed and poorly distributed rainfall occasioned by La Nina weather phenomenon," it said in a statement.

April exports rose slightly to 32.18 million kg from 31.87 million kg.

Pakistan was the leading importer of Kenyan tea, followed by Afghanistan, Egypt and Britain.

The tea board said production for the first four months of the year stood at 116.6 million kg, 20.9 percent lower than the same period in 2010.

"Going by the tea industry production performance for the first four months of the year, production for the year is likely to be lower by 10 percent, from 399 million kg recorded last year to 360 million kg," the board said.

Reuters

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