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Monday February 6th, 2023

Sri Lanka livestock face malnutrition after money printing

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s livestock including cattle and chicken are facing malnutrition due to the lack of feed, vitamins and rising costs, the island’s state veterinarians said as the forex crisis driven by money printing hits imports.

“We have been monitoring the crisis for sometimes and have informed the relevantauthorizes on how to protect the lives of these animals, but we have been ignored,” Nuwan Hewagamage Secretary of the State Veterinary Surgeons Association told reporters in Colombo.

“This has created a crisis in the industry.”

The association is calling for subsidies to help the livestock but the government is running a large budget deficit after hiring 50,000 unemployed graduates and giving a billion US dollar relief package for humans in January on top of an existing budget deficit.

There are shortages of maize, rice polish and soyabean, while prices are rising.

“Animals can’t be kept hungry like humans,” Hewagamage said. “Farmers are moving away from the industry and culling layer chicken for meat.”

Veterinary officials said cattle are also facing shortages of feed concentrate while prices are soaring.

The Veterinarians said some animals are falling sick and there was a shortage of antibiotics, anesthetics and medicine needed for operations.

The President of the Government Veterinarians Association H H A Piyasiri said feed concentrates were in short supply.

There were signs that milk output was falling due to bad feed and cattle getting sick.

In one instance when tests were carried out on cattle that developed diarrhea it was found that rice husk had been milled and mixed in and the fibre content was as high as 54 percent, which could not be digested.

Then the milk output falls and the animals get sick.

Veterinarians say about a 30 million litre loss of production may be taking place due to problems with feed concentrates. In 2021 Sri Lanka is estimated to have produced about 513,000 million litres of milk up from 491,000 million litres in 2020 according to official data.

They say it is unfortunate that domestic milk production is falling while imported milk is also reducing due to feed problems from forex shortages while the rupee collapse has driven up prices, making dairy products and meats un-affordable to many.

Economists and analysts had urged authorities not to print money, driving up reserve money, and credit, driving up broad money and then triggering balance of payments deficits. (Colombo/Mar25/202 – Update II)

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  1. A.B.P.Jayawardana says:

    Researchers at the VRI,Gannoruwa have demonstrated that a cross bred cow can produce 10 litres milk perday fed only on nutritious fodder and mineral lick .

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  1. A.B.P.Jayawardana says:

    Researchers at the VRI,Gannoruwa have demonstrated that a cross bred cow can produce 10 litres milk perday fed only on nutritious fodder and mineral lick .

Sri Lanka to address SME tax problems at first opportunity: State Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Problems faced by Sri Lanka’s small and medium enterprises from recent tax changes will be addressed at the first opportunity, State Minister for Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.

Business chambers had raised questions about hikes in Value Added Tax, Corporate Income Tax and the Social Security Contribution Levy (SSCL) that’s been imposed.

It should be explored on how to amend the Inland Revenue Act, Siyamabalapitiya said, adding that the future months should be considered as a period where the country is being stabilized.

Both the VAT and SSCL are effectively paid by customers, but the SSCL is a cascading tax that makes running businesses difficult.

In Sri Lanka SMEs make up a large part of the economy, accounting for 80 per cent of all businesses according to according to the island’s National Human Resources and Employment Policy.

(Colombo/ Feb 05/2023)

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Sri Lanka revenues Rs158.7bn in Jan 2023 up 51-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government revenues were 158.7 billion rupees in January 2023 but expenditure and debt service remained high, Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

In January 2022 total revenues were Rs104.5 billion according to central bank data.

Sri Lanka’s tax revenues have risen sharply amid an inflationary blow off which had boosted nominal GDP while President Ranil Wickremesinghe has also raised taxes.

Departing from a previous strategy advocated by the IMF expanding the state and not cutting expenses, called revenue based fiscal consolidation, he is attempting to do classical fiscal consolidation with spending restraint.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has presented a note to cabinet requesting state expenditure to be controlled, Gunawardana told reporters.

State Salaries cost 87.4 billion rupees.

Pensions and income supplements (Samurdhi program) were29.5 billion rupees.

Other expenses were 10.8 billion rupees.

Capital spending was   21 billion rupees.

Debt service was 377.6 billion rupees for January which has to be done with borrowings from Treasury bills, bonds and a central bank provisional advance of 100 billion rupees, Gunawardana said.

Interest costs were not separately given. (Colombo/Feb05/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tea prices down for second week

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tea prices fell for the second week at an auction on January 31, with teas from all elevations seeing a decline, data showed.

“In retrospect, the decline in prices would be a price correction owing to the overall product quality and less interest from some key importers due to the arrival of cargo at destinations ahead of schedule,” Forbes and Walker tea brokers said.

The weekly sale average fell from 1475.79 rupees to 1465.40 rupees from a week ago, according to data from Ceylon Tea Brokers.

The tea prices are down for two weeks in a row.

High Growns

The High Grown sale average was down by 20.90 rupees to 1380.23 rupees, Ceylon Tea Brokers said.

High grown BOP and BOPF was down about 100 rupees.

“Ex-Estate offerings which totalled 0.75 M/Kg saw a slight decline in quality over the previous week” Forbes and Walker said.

OP/OPA’s in general were steady to marginally down.

Low Growns

In Low Grown Teas, FBOP 1 was down by 100 rupees and FBOP was down by 50 rupees while PEK was up by 150 rupees.

The Low Growns sale average was down by 8.55 rupees to 1547.93 rupees.

A few select Best BOP1s along with Below Best varieties maintained.

OP1                     Select Best OP1’s were steady, whilst improved/clean Below Best varieties maintained.   Others and poorer sorts were easier.

PEKOE                 Well- made PEK/PEK1s in general were steady, whilst others and poorer sorts were down.

Leafy and Semi Leafy catalogues met with fair demand,” Forbes and Walker brokers said.

“However, the Small Leaf and Premium catalogues continued to decline.

“Shippers to Iran were very selective, whilst shippers to Türkiye and Russia were fairly active.”

This week  2.2 million Kilograms of Low Growns were sold.

Medium Growns

Medium Grown BOP and BOPF fell by around 100 rupees

The Medium Growns sale average was down by 33.40 rupees to 1199.4 rupees.

“Medium CTC teas in the higher price bracket witnessed a similar trend, whilst teas at the lower end were somewhat maintained subject to quality,” Forbes and Walker brokers said.

“Improved activity from the local trade and perhaps South Africa helped to stabilize prices to some extent.”

OP/OPA grades were steady while PEKOE/PEKOE1 were firm, while some gained 50-100 rupees at times.

Well-made FBOP/FBOPF1’s were down by 50-100 rupees per kg and more at times.

(Colombo/Feb 5/2023)

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