Sri Lanka’s tea exports further contracted in July, especially in the Russian and Middle Eastern markets, amid the “go slow campaign” carried out by estate workers during the month.
According Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers, export volumes totalled 28.7 million kilos compared to 29.8 million kilos year-on-year(yoy) while revenue fell to Rs.16.9 billion from Rs.19.1 billion yoy.
“Bulk tea has shown a growth yoy whist tea in packets and tea in bags have shown a fairly significant decrease,” the report said.
Bulk tea export volumes increased to 13.2 million kilos at Rs.510.82 per kilo from 10.91 million kilos at Rs.572.17 per kilo yoy.
Tea in packets volumes fell to 12.8 million kilos at Rs. 552.96 per kilo from 15.65 million kilos at Rs.596.76 per kilo while tea bag volumes fell to 2.09 million kilos at Rs.1,118.33 per kilo from 2.56 million kilos at Rs. 1,063.22 per kilo yoy.
Export volumes for the period from January to July decreased to 180.2 million kilos from 187.2 million kilos yoy while revenue declined to Rs.107.6 billion from Rs. 123.2 billion yoy with a similar trend to July.
Turkey remained the largest importer of Ceylon Tea from January to July with volumes of 21.67 million kilos, falling from 27 million kilos yoy. Russian volumes fell to 20.91 million kilos from 25.35 million kilos yoy.
Exports to Iraq increased to 17.13 million kilos from 12.26 million kilos yoy, volumes to Iran fell to 15.40 million kilos from 17.17 million kilos yoy and volumes to U.A.E. increased to 15.05 million kilos from 10.74 million kilos yoy.
Other minor Middle Eastern markets showed declines barring Saudi Arabia which saw a marginal increase.
The Chinese market grew substantially with 4.36 million kilos compared to 2.93 million kilos yoy.
Exports to India increased nearly tenfold to 3.24 million kilos from 385,476 kilos, which experts say is used for re-export instead of consumption.
Meanwhile, Forbes & Walker said that the auctions this week saw a fair demand arising from CIS, Turkey, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq.