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Wednesday December 6th, 2023

Sri Lanka likely to see further beef price hike over lump disease in North

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is likely to see further increase in beef prices as the island nation’s Northern province has banned the transportation of cattle to other provinces and slaughter houses owing to lump disease identified in the herds in that area, officials and industry stakeholders say.

“The disease is also slightly spreading to other provinces in Sri Lanka,” S. Vaseeharan, the Provincial Director at Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) told EconomyNext.

He said all the police stations have been informed to halt cattle transportation and health certificates have been mandatory to transport them after clearing for lump diseases.

The viral disease was detected in India and Sri Lanka in 2020 as well as this year, Vaseeharan said.

Officials are worried of the disease spreading due to possible illegal transportation.

Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts have been identified as high-risk zones, while Vavuniya, Jaffna, and Manner districts are under surveillance.

The Northern province accounts for 15 percent of the total beef production in the island, according to the government’s official data and the transportation ban could have an impact on the beef prices.

Beef which was sold around 1,000 rupees before the pandemic is now sold around 2,200 rupees ($6.5) per kilogram in Colombo.

“Due to the transportation restrictions in that affected area obviously, the supply will go down,” Dr. M Ijas, Chief Municipal Veterinary Surgeon at Colombo Municipal Council told EconomyNext.

“When there is a low supply, automatically the price will increase. And the Northern area has a larger supply of beef.”

Market players said the move could increase the price of other protein-based products including chicken, pork, and mutton as well.

The disease was first detected in Mullaitivu in February and the number of cattle prone to the disease varies between 300-500 or 3000-5000 depending on the area, Vaseeharan said.

He said there is no specific treatment for the disease, and infected animals should be quarantined and left to recover with their immune systems. (Colombo/ March 16/2023)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 327.40/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 327.40/90 to the US dollar on Tuesday, from 328.10/30 the previous day, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.60/70 percent from 13.70/14.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.00 percent from 13.90/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/15 percent from 14.00/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.10/20 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.20/35 percent, from 14.25/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.10/35 percent, from 14.05/40 percent. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down as investor sentiment dips

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Tuesday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.40 percent, or 43.50 points, at 10,700.09.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.43 percent, or 13.32 points, at 3,054.41.

Turnover was at 711 million. The capital goods sector contributed 172 million, the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 140 million, and banks 113 million of this.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were John Keells Holdings Plc (up at 193.00), Richard Pieris And Company Plc (up at 19.80), and Nation Lanka Finance Plc, (up at 0.40).

Negative contributors were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (down at 89.70), Sampath Bank Plc (down at 71.00), and Central Finance Company Plc, (down at 106.00). (Colombo/Dec5/2023).

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Sri Lanka plans to reduce number of school grades from 13 to 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ministry of Education proposes to reduce the number of school grades from 13 to 12, according to a government information department statement.

“Every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years through the proposed new education reforms,” education officials were quoted as saying after a discussion on budget allocations.

Under the proposed system, pre-school education will be at the age of 4 years, the primary section between grades 1-5, junior section between grades 6-8, and senior section between grades 9-12.

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exam (GCE O/L) is proposed to be conducted in grade 10, and the Advanced Level Examination in grade 12.

It has also been decided to reduce the number of mandatory subjects at the GCE O/L Exam from 9 to 7.

Three new subjects, information and communication technology (ICT), technical and professional skills, and religion and values will be made mandatory and included in those 7 subjects. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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