Civil unrest in Sudan has hit Kenya’s tea market with the volumes of the beverage shipped to the country dropping by 62 percent in the first half of 2023.

The Tea Board of Kenya-sector regulator, says the quantities exported to Sudan between January and June this year declined to three million kilogrammes when compared with 10 million in the corresponding period last year.

Sudan, which normally ranks among the top five buyers moved further below the table to position nine, having been overtaken by countries such as Yemen and Afghanistan.

The conflict in Sudan crossed the 100-day mark in August with no signs of relenting as peace efforts by different actors fail to bear fruits.

The crisis, which began on April 15, has led to widespread violence resulting in death, destruction, and displacement.

More than 2.4 million people have been displaced within Sudan, and more than 730,000 have fled to neighboring countries, according to CARE Sudan.

Tea traders have complained before that they are facing difficulties accessing the Sudanese market due to the ongoing war.

The Sudanese war comes at a time when Kenya’s tea sector is staring at an uncertain time due to global recession.

Kenya’s top two buyers, who are grappling with a sluggish economy, and currency shortage, recorded a huge decline in purchases, shedding a total of 43 million kilos in the review period.

Pakistan- Kenya’s top buyer of the beverage and which accounted for 38 percent of the total tea that was exported in six months to June, lost 31 percent of the volumes that were shipped in the corresponding period a year earlier

Pakistan has been grappling with a shortage of dollars and at one point suspended the imports of non-essential goods, tea being one of them, in order to preserve money in the country.

Egypt, the second largest buyer of Kenya’s tea also recorded a 31 percent decline in the review period. The country has also been struggling with a shortage of dollars and a weaker pound that had to be devalued at some point.