Sri Lanka heading for ‘significant’ tea production shortfall

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is heading for a ‘significant’ shortfall in tea production this year with the crop down 12% up to August while reduced offerings at the Colombo auctions have pushed up prices, brokers said.

Tea  production in August 2016 was down 13% or 3.4 million kilos to 23.01 million kilos from a year ago with all elevations affected, they said.

“If the current extreme weather pattern continues, Sri Lanka’s tea crop is poised to show a significant negative variance by the end of the year,” Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said.

At this week’s auction, only 5.4 million kilos were offered in contrast to the corresponding sale of last year which had on offer a quantity of 6.8 million kilos.

The August 2016 crop was the lowest in 10  years, the brokers said.

Sri Lanka’s tea production in the first eight months of this year was down 12% to 198.6 million kilos, with low grown teas which make up the bulk of the crop showing the biggest deficit, brokers John Keells Ltd. said.

Prices perked up at this week’s auction owing to the limited quantity on offer, they said.
(COLOMBO, Sept 29, 2016)

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