Kenya, Egypt Resolve Tea Trade Dispute
Egypt is to lift a 30 percent tariff imposed on tea imports from Kenya following talks in Nairobi between the Egyptian ambassador and Kenya's trade minister, AFP reported.
According to the agency, the trade dispute erupted last month when Egypt, a key market for Kenyan tea, imposed the retaliatory import tariff, saying Kenya had implemented a similar measure on Egyptian products.
Trade between the two countries is supposed to be tariff-free as both are members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) said the dispute had driven down tea prices at the weekly auction here as exporters to Egypt stayed away from the market.
Nearly 10 million kilograms of Kenyan tea remained stranded in Port Said during the dispute, the report said.
The first tea bush was planted in Kenya in 1903, but planting on commercial scale begun in 1924. Kenya tea is believed to be of Asian origin.
The difference between all types of teas commercially available internationally is dictated by the method of processing. Most Kenya teas are manufactured using the Cut, Tear and Curl (CTC) method of manufacture. Tea made by CTC method has more infusion giving surfaces and brews stronger, thicker, brighter and brisk teas, which ensures maximum cuppage per unit weight. Kenya, which manufactures black tea as opposed to green tea made through the orthodox method, is the world's third largest producer and leading exporter of black tea – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)