Drought hits price of rooibos tea in South Africa

3 December 2015

The price of rooibos tea is expected to rise following a drought in South Africa.

However, the South African Rooibos Council has moved to allay fears raised by media reports that the price could rise by as much as 90 per cent.

Ernest du Toit, spokesman for the council, told SM there was “no need for consumers to consider stockpiling of rooibos” since the price increase was likely to be gradual.

“A 90 percent increase is extreme and unlikely to be experienced across the local and international market,” said du Toit.

“While market forces will determine the final price of rooibos the increase is unlikely to be as high, because the production cycle of rooibos runs over four years.

"Therefore an increase will be felt over time and not in the immediate and short term. Should weather conditions normalise during the production period it should allow farmers to increase their investment in rooibos, and it would then be unlikely that the full extent of the increase would be felt.”

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