TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenya battling to get tea into the US market

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 Published: | AGATHA NGOTHO

Source: The Star (Kenya)

Tea industry players have called for a review of the African Growth Opportunity Act to allow them access to the American market.

Interim head of the tea directorate Samuel Ogola said they were negotiating to have Kenyan tea incorporated as one of the commodities for export to the market.

Ogola said America is a high potential market for Kenyan tea but local traders can only benefit if they fulfill Agoa conditions.

Agoa is a nonreciprocal trade preference program that provides imports of certain products from sub-Saharan African countries to the US.

Coffee, which formed the base of pre-Agoa exports, has continued to do well but tea has declined.

Nuts and cut flowers have recorded the fastest growth with an average of 50 per cent annually.

Kenya is only able to export 12 line products against 6,500 products provided for under the Agoa trade framework.

The 2017 Economic Survey says export revenue from the Article of appeal and clothing accessories, mostly exported to the US under the Agoa agreement, have increased to Sh30.7 billion from Sh28.2 billion in 2016.

Kenya's top tea market destination last year were Pakistan, Egypt, UK, United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Russia respectively.

Ogola noted that while tea export earnings increased to Sh129 billion from Sh120 billion in 2016, export volumes decreased by 13 per cent.

“Kenya tea export volume was 415 million kilograms compared to 480 million kgs in 2016. This decline is attributed to lower supply,” Ogola said during the release of the 2017 tea industry performance report on Monday.

Edward Mudibo, the East Africa Tea Trade Association CEO said the US market is big enough to suck up all tea exports.

“Our desire is to expand markets to ensure our tea is globally felt,” Mudibo said.


  • AGOA.info note: tea is duty-free into the United States if exported by an AGOA beneficiary country: the relevant tariff lines (under HTS0902) are either MFN zero-rated or AGOA zero-rated. However, agricultural and food products are usually required to comply with certain SPS requirements. View some of the available resources on the subject here on AGOA.info at this link

 

Related News

Kenya develops new AGOA strategy

Kenya develops new AGOA strategy

Kenya will have an advantage of increasing its exports to the United States when direct flights between the two countries begin in October this year. Principal Secretary State Department of Trade Dr. Chris Kiptoo said that Kenya, which is leading in Sub-Sahara exports, considers the US as a strategic market that it is ranked number three in terms of an export destination...

19 January, 2018
Kenya aims doubling 2016 exports value to US by 2025 under AGOA

Kenya aims doubling 2016 exports value to US by 2025 under AGOA

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub in east Africa and the Kenyan ministry of industry, trade and cooperatives recently joined Kenya’s private sector to review and validate a new Kenya National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy that aims to double its 2016 figure of exports to the United States by 2025.  Kenya...

18 January, 2018
Kenya direct air links: 'The Fresh Approach spies opportunities'

Kenya direct air links: 'The Fresh Approach spies opportunities'

Kenyan exporter The Fresh Approach is hopeful that the commencement of direct flights between Nairobi and the US city of Atlanta will lead to a major boost in exports to the market over the coming years. “The US has not really been tapped by African fresh produce companies,” says business development director Catherine Muya. “So there is great potential for numerous...

12 December, 2017
Kenya: TradeHub conducts national AGOA Strategy review workshops

Kenya: TradeHub conducts national AGOA Strategy review workshops

From November 22-23, the Hub collaborated with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives to conduct stakeholder workshops on home décor and fashion accessories, textile and apparel, and coffee. Participants discussed the supply constraints that can hinder exports and developed sector action plans to mitigate those constraints. They also refined the Hub-supported...

23 November, 2017
Kenya to increase exports to 20% of GDP by 2020

Kenya to increase exports to 20% of GDP by 2020

Kenya targets to increase her exports to 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in three years’ up from the current 14.5 percent, buoyed by the ongoing efforts to exploit destination markets in over 80 countries.  Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo says this will be realized by among others, product diversification and value addition initiatives. The...

13 November, 2017