REUTERS: Sri Lanka’s tea output in January rose 11.9 percent from a year earlier, due to favourable agro-climatic conditions and a lower base, the state-run Tea Board said on Tuesday.
“The climatic conditions were good and also the 2017 January production was lower with compared to the two previous years,” Sri Lanka Tea Board Director General S.A. Siriwardena told Reuters.
The island nation’s tea output rose 5 percent to 307.1 million kg in 2017, recovering from a seven-year low of 292.6 million kg hit in the previous year.
Industry officials expects production to reach 320 million kg in 2018 if weather holds but the ban of cost-effective weedicides, disruption to regular agricultural practices and high cost of fertilizers could impact the production outlook.
Tea production in 2017 was impacted by severe drought followed by flooding, poor application of fertilisers, a government ban on pesticides and restricted labour.
Tea is Sri Lanka’s top agricultural export commodity and one of the main foreign currency earners for the US $ 81 billion economy.