NAIROBI, Dec 1 (Reuters): Kenya's tea prices were mixed at this week's auction, with some grades improving because of better quality, traders said yesterday.
Mombasa-based Africa Tea Brokers (ATB) said there was strong general demand for the 127,234 packages offered at the auction, compared with 122,858 packages last week.
Out of the total 127,234 packages offered, 5,294 were unsold compared with 9,418 unsold last week.
Brighter Best Pekoe Fannings Ones (PF1s) fetched between $1.72-$2.45 per kg compared with the last auction's $1.68-$1.98.
"Brighter PF1s saw good competition, holding firm on last prices, with a few invoices gaining $0.02 to $0.04 and substantially more, closely following prices," ATB said in its report.
Brighter Best Pekoe Ones (BP1s) fetched between $1.90-$2.65 per kg compared with $1.95-$2.63 at the last auction.
ATB said Pakistan Blenders, Afghanistan and the Egyptian Packer Sector bought more tea than at the last auction, as did the Pakistan Bazaar, Britain, Yemen, other Middle Eastern countries and Sudan.
Russia and Eastern Europe bought quantities of tea similar to last week, ATB said.
ATB said in a report Friday the key growing area of Kericho was dry, while Nandi was hot and windy conditions.
Crop has declined in Kericho, while Nandi expected to show a slight increase, ATB said.
Kenya is one of the world's top three producers of black tea, alongside India and Sri Lanka.