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Tensions in Gulf could hurt Ceylon Tea cuppa: Industry

18 April 2024 05:13 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Says worsening situation in Gulf could immediately put a strain on tea prices
  • Points out majority of impacts are indirect
  • Tea Board says industry has not officially shared any concerns as yet 

The mounting tensions in the Middle East that are becoming increasingly unpredictable are likely to impact the Ceylon Tea cuppa, the industry stakeholders said, especially since over 50 percent of the island nation’s tea is exported to that region.

While the issues stemming from the Red Sea attack have already impacted the industry with longer delivery time and higher freight costs, new issues such as closure of airspace among others could add to the woes.

“Continuity of this would mean restricted movement of people, sending out samples and getting orders. As long as the sea is open, things should be okay.

But our worry and deep concern are going forward what will happen to the sea routes. This can drastically affect the prices and the local livelihoods of people who depend on tea,” Tea Exporters Association Chairmen Ganesh Deivanayagam told Mirror Business.

He stressed that the worsening situation in the Gulf can immediately put a strain on the tea prices. 

“Any further issue can put our small industry at a major risk,” said Deivanayagam.

Reflecting similar sentiments, tea veteran and Tea Traders Association Past Chairman Jayantha Karunaratne affirmed that the industry is deeply concerned regarding the tensions in the Middle East.

“Whatever happens in the Middle East is affecting us. As exporters, we are doing standard type of businesses and it will and is impacting us. Most of the impacts are indirect,” he said, pointing out the industry is also beginning to worry about the possible trade sanctions.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj de Mel noted that such situations the local industry has experienced before and no major concerns have been raised with the authorities as yet.

“So far, we haven’t had any adverse reports come from the tea exporters as yet. None have complained about shipment disruption. Even when the Houti attacks took place no concerns were raised,” he said.

  Comments - 1

  • Kays N Thursday, 18 April 2024 12:00 PM

    Why is the great viyathmaga brain and former Tea Board Chairman silent?

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