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Libya regains taste for Sri Lankan tea

ECONOMYNEXT – Tea exports to Libya were up 21% in the 11 months to November this year from last year with Libyan buyers becoming more active at the Colombo auctions, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said.

Libya is now the seventh biggest buyer of Ceylon tea, importing 10.4 million kilos up to November, the brokers said.

“Libya with a marginal restoration of normalcy and enhanced sale of crude oil to the world market has become active at the Colombo tea auctions in recent months,” they said in a report.

Direct buying by Libya has led to Egypt’s role in re-exporting Ceylon tea to Libyas a temporary measure to cover its deficit coming down drastically.

Other Middle Eastern countries were big buyers this year, with Iran and Iraq the second the third biggest importers.

Turkey came fourth despite a 20% drop in imports to 24 million kilos from Sri Lanka as border restrictions reduced its role as a transit point for tea exports to neighbouring countries.

Exports to Syria were up 9% to 11.1 million kilos up to November this year from a year ago.

“Despite all odds, Syria has continued to patronise Ceylon teas,” Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said. 
(COLOMBO, Dec 23, 2016)

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