Kenya has recorded a 11.59 billion shillings increase in tea earnings between January and December 2018.
Agriculture and Food Authority says tea exports raked in 140.86 billion shillings last year compared to 129.27 billion shillings the sector earned in 2017.
The authority attributes this performance to favorable weather which saw tea production jump 12 percent to reach an all time high of 492.99 million kilograms.
Agriculture and Food Authority says the tremendous increase in output was encouraged by higher precipitation coupled with warm weather conditions experienced in tea growing areas in the West of the Rift Valley including Nyamira, Kisii, Nandi, and Kericho counties.
This saw tea production in 2018 increase 12% compared to 439.85 Million Kgs recorded in 2017.
Out of the total production Smallholder sub-sector accounted 272.52 million kgs or 55 percent while Estate sub-sector contributed up to 220.47 million kgs which equals 45%.
Kenya also exported a total of total of 474.86 Million Kgs which was 59.14 Million Kgs higher than 415.68 Million Kgs exported in 2017.
However, increased supply at the Kenya tea auction suppressed prices which averaged 2.58 dollars per kg compared to 2.98 per kg in 2017.
During the period there was a slight increase in local tea consumption which jumped to 38 million kg from 37.63 recorded in 2017.
Nonetheless, the Agriculture and Food Authority, says depressed rainfall during the last quarter of 2018 and prevailing dry weather will likely lead to a slight drop in production during the first quarter of 2019.
AFA predicts an overall decline of 12% in production and export volumes volume this year this year to 416 million kg and 422 million kgs respectively.
Earnings are also expected to decline to 133 billion shillings while auction price to surge 10 percent.