Sri Lanka February tea prices at two-year low
ECONOMYNEXT – Prices at Sri Lanka’s tea auction in Colombo in February remained below the levels two years ago with low grown varieties, which make up the bulk of crop, the worst hit, brokers said.
Although prices of high grown varieties perked up the tea industry continues to suffer from the continuing slump in commodity markets and problems in key markets like the Middle East and Russia.
Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said monthly auction average prices of teas grown at all three elevations were lower in February 2016 compared with a year ago.
The monthly total auction average for February 2016 was 403.87 rupees a kilo, down 14.42 rupees from February 2015.
In US dollars terms too the total Colombo auction average fell to 2.86 dollars a kilo in February 2016, down 36 US cents from 3.22 dollars of February 2015.
“It is also relevant to note that these levels are substantially lower when compared to the 2014 levels, both in Sri Lankan rupee and US dollar terms,” Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said.
In 2014 the total auction average for February was 481.83 rupees which was equivalent to 3.69 dollars.
Low grown teas, which are mainly grown by small farmers, were the worst affected.
Brokers John Keells Ltd. said prices of low growns teas suffered the biggest drop of 22.55 rupees a kilo.