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Tea crop up in May but YTD figure lags

Tea production in May saw an uptick, but the first five months’ crop sustained an overall decline, highlighting ongoing challenges within the industry, including weather variability and other factors on cultivation. 

Asia Siyaka Commodities Plc said tea production in May increased to 24.54 million kilos, up 14% compared to April 2024. However, despite this monthly rise, the overall production for May 2024 declined by 8.5% compared to the same period last year, indicating a broader trend of reduced tea yields. The breakdown by elevation categories in May has shown a decrease in comparison with the corresponding month of 2023. 

“The high-grown tea crop saw the sharpest decline of 18.6% year-on-year (YoY) to 5.88 million kilos, whilst medium-grown production experienced a decline of 8.9% YoY decrease to 4.4 million kilos. The low-grown crop saw a marginal decline of 3.4% YoY to 14.26 million kilos, relatively better compared to the other two elevation categories,” it added. Asia Siyaka also said that January-May 2024 cumulative production totalled 104.37 million kilos registering a decrease of 6.5% YoY compared to 111.57 million kilos in the same period a year earlier.

Compared to the corresponding period in 2023, all elevations have shown negative variances in the year 2024.

“Low-grown at 62.6 million kilos was down by 6% YoY with a loss of 3.7 million kilos. High-grown trail the previous year with production of 23.5 million kilos following very hot and dry conditions during the first quarter and excessive rain in May. Mediums have declined to a lesser extent,” it added. The crop fluctuations underscore the need for adaptive strategies among tea growers and stakeholders to mitigate risks and sustain productivity in the face of changing climatic conditions.