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Russia overtakes Turkey as largest Ceylon tea importer

25 September 2015 03:18 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
Russia has overtaken Turkey as the largest customer of Ceylon tea for the first eight months of 2015, amidst a further deteriorating Colombo tea auction.
“Russia again emerged as the major importer followed by Turkey and Iraq. The UAE continues to show significant increases in imports this season,” a John Keells PLC report said.

Turkey was the number one market till July. The stabilizing Russian economy and the bulk buying for the winter months ahead may be contributing factors to the sudden rise in sales to Russia.

Total revenue from tea exports in the first eight months declined to Rs.119.98 billion from Rs.141.32 million year-on-year (YoY) and quantities exported fell to 201.47 million kilogrammes from 214.70 million kilogrammes YoY, according to Ceylon Tea Brokers PLC.

This week’s auctions saw 7.5 million kilogrammes go under the hammer, with teas of all elevations seeing a mix of quality and prices.

Quantities sold last week increased to 6.71 million kilogrammes from 6.30 million kilogrammes YoY while prices were an average Rs.366.11 per kilogramme compared to Rs.434.21 per kilogramme YoY.

Ceylon Tea Brokers said that even though the weakened rupee will help fetch higher prices for tea, better quality is needed to attract demand.

Meanwhile, as Kenyan tea prices remain higher than Sri Lanka due to weather-affected supply, sources say many customers from Egypt, South Africa, the UK, etc., who switch suppliers based on the lowest price, are buying Ceylon tea. 
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