Kenya tea prices ease at auction, third fall in a row

NAIROBI Tue Jan 8, 2013 1:20pm EST

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NAIROBI Jan 8 (Reuters) - The average price of Kenya's top tea grade fell to $4.29 per kg from $4.34 per kg at the previous auction, the third successive fall, brokers said on Tuesday.

The east African nation is the world's leading exporter of black tea, which is also a leading hard currency earner, raking in $1.27 billion in 2011.

Africa Tea Brokers (ATB) said Best Broken Pekoe Ones TEABP1-BEST-KE sold at $3.90-$4.68 per kg, from $4.05-$4.62 per kg last week.

Best Pekoe Fanning Ones TEAPF1-BEST-KE fetched $3.60-$3.85 per kg compared with $3.67-$3.92 per kg previously, ATB said in its weekly market report.

ATB said 117,457 packages were offered for sale, with 14.64 percent remaining unsold. Last week 117,062 packages were offered for sale, with 13.43 percent going unsold.

The main buyers during the auction were from the United Kingdom and Sudan, ATB said. (Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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