ECONOMYNEXT – Production of low-grown teas, which make up a bulk of the island’s crop and are grown mainly by small holder farmers, fell to a 10-year low in July this year, brokers said.
Overall national tea production in July fell 19 percent to 21.3 million kilos from a year ago, a 15-year low.
Asia Siyaka Commodities attributed the slump to a “mix of continuing bad weather and disruption to agricultural practices".
“This year’s July crop figure is at a 15-year low and is only higher than the 19.4 million kilos recorded in 2001,” they said.
“While all elevations recorded crop losses year on year, the worst hit was the low-grown sector, which was down 22 percent year on year to 13.6 million kilos in 2015. This is the lowest since 2006.”
Production of mid-growns fell 15 percent to 3.2 million kilos, the lowest since 2004, and high growns fropped 13 percent to 4.4 million kilos from a year ago.
Tea production for the seven-month period from January to July 2016 was 175.3 million kilos, down 12 percent from last year’s quantity.
“Here again, low country tea has declined the most from all elevations and is down 11 percent YoY,” Asia Siyaka Commodities said.
The January-July 2016 low-grown production of 107.1 million kilos was 12.7 million kilos lower than last year’s quantity, while mediums have declined 14 percent to 27.4 million kilos, and high grown down 13 percent (6.5 million kilos) to 40.8 million kilos in 2016 from a year ago.
(COLOMBO, September 01, 2016)