Tea production up in January; but exports and earnings dip

The local tea sector saw its production output for January kicking off with a positive note, but witnessed dampened year-on-year (yoy) growth in its export quantities and earnings.

According to statistics released by the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB), tea output for January increased 8 percent yoy. However, exports and earnings contracted by 1.43 and 4.15 percent compared to the corresponding month the previous year.

The production in January totalled 25.08 million kilograms (Mkg), an increase of 1.8 Mkg compared to the 23.26 Mkg recorded in the same month in 2015. According to an elevation-wise analysis, high-grown teas showed an increase of 0.61 Mkg, whereas mediumgrowns and low-growns production expanded 0.50 and 0.70 Mkg, respectively.

Quantities for the month, including re-export with imported tea, amounted to 24.13 Mkg, a 0.35 Mkg reduction compared to January 2015. Latest report by Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers stated that while bulk tea and tea bags showed a positive yoy growth, packeted tea declined. A country-wise analysis of exports shows that Russia continuing as the largest export destination for Sri Lankan tea followed by Iraq and Iran. However,

Turkey, which was the second biggest export destination for Ceylon tea, has slipped to the fifth position. Turkey’s purchase of Ceylon tea dropped 56.19 percent yoy to 1.75Mkg. With the decrease in FOB price per Kg from Rs. 609.95 to Rs. 593.12, the total export earnings of Rs.14.3 billion showed a marginal decline of Rs.0.62 billion against the Rs.14.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period last year. (SAA)

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