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So far, widespread droughts in Africa have affected over 13 million people, and contributed to the price of Arabica coffee beans rising by 68% and cocoa by 76% over the past two years.
Over half of Britain’s tea comes from Kenya, which is one of the world’s top five tea producers along with China, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Robert Miles, an analyst for market researchers Mintec, said, “Global supply is likely to be even more precariously balanced in 2012 and demand for tea is set to rise across the board next season, due to additional demand coming from China and India’s rapidly growing middle classes.
“Whether prices remain stable in 2012 will depend on the severity of the Kenyan drought,” he said.
It is possible that increased production in China and lower transport costs from India will counteract the drought, but if not then consumers could end up paying around an extra 17p on a 250g packet of loose tea.
Tea drinkers in the UK consume 62 billion cups a year.
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