- Extreme weather and lower fertiliser application key reasons
- Cumulative production ending August lowest since 1997
Tea production in August fell 14 percent, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, according to a leading Colombo-based tea brokerage.
The crop loss, amounting to 2.5 mnkg in August, was attributed to extreme weather conditions and reduced fertiliser application. The lower crop levels in August have led to the cumulative production to contract by 31.8 mnkg, a 11 percent drop, compared with last year’s eight-month figure of 196 mnkg.
According to the latest tea report by Asia Siyaka Commodities, this year’s eight-month quantity of 179.1 mnkg is the lowest since 1997, when production declined to 178.8 mnkg.
It shared that nearly 88 percent of production loss for the eight months has come from Low-Country teas. However, the higher elevations too have declined but as a percentage are less than half.
According to Asia Siyaka Commodities Managing Director/Executive Director Anil Cooke, the loss was largely due to a delay in the Low Country getting access to fertilisers. The scenario turned further sour due to a global shortage, which led to the non-availability of fertilisers when the weather was improving.
“This resulted in the massive loss. We will not be able to make up for it this year, even though access to fertilisers has improved. We might be able to catch up in 1Q2012, provided access is not interrupted,” said Cooke to Mirror Business.
Meanwhile, the January-August quantity for Low and Mid-Growns was the lowest since 2009, whereas for High-Growns, the cumulative figure was the lowest in more than 40 years, when production slumped following the collapse of the tea market, resulting from the global financial crisis.
Damped production levels in August led tea exports to take a hit as well, with quantities shipped contracting by 16 percent to 22 mnkg, making it the lowest monthly quantity shipped since April this year. (SAA)