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Sunday March 26th, 2023

Sri Lanka signs US$500mn loan with China Development Bank

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has inked the agreement to get a 500 million US dollar loan from China Development Bank, Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said.

The 500 million dollars would be disbursed in April itself.

The loan will have a repayment period of 10 years.

A previous 500 million dollar loan from CDB was for 8 years.

The loans would be on competitive terms, Attygalle said.

The loans comes as Sri Lanka’s forex reserves dropped to 4.05 billion dollars in March 2020, the lowest since a currency crisis in 2008/2009.

The April tranche is the second 500 million dollars of a 1.2 billion dollar facility Sri Lanka has been seeking from CDB.

A 200 million dollar equivalent Renminbi facility is also expected. (Colombo/Apr12/2021)

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Sri Lanka all Ceylon tea prices move up in March last-week auction

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s all Ceylon tea prices were up at an auction on March 22 amidst good demand after the rupee continued to strengthen steeply in the past weeks, brokers said.

Prices of all High, Medium and Low Growns grew this week.

Total auction volume was 5.2 million kilograms and there was good general demand, Forbes and Walker tea brokers said in a report.

The weekly sale average grew to 1282.01 rupees from 1256.96 rupees from a week ago, according to data.

“Overall quality was lower to last, particularly teas from the Western Planting districts,” Forbes and Walker said.

High Growns

The High Grown sale average was up by 15.54 rupees to 1,334.85 from 1,440.05 rupees last week, Ceylon Tea Brokers said.

Ex-Estate offerings were fairly similar to last and totalled 0.74 million kilos

In BOP, a handful of invoices were steady and marginally gained following special inquiry, whilst the others declined up to 100 rupees per kilo.

“In the Below Best category, brighter sorts were down 50-100 per kilo, whilst the others together with teas at the lower end of the market declined 50-100 rupees per kilo and more.

Well-made OP/OPA’s together with lower end were down 50-100 rupees per kilo.

A limited selection of Flavory PEK’s that were available were irregularly down. Well-made Orthodox leafy PEK’s were steady on last whilst others together with PEK1′ in general were down 50 rupees and more at times.

Low Growns

The average price of Low Growns grew 34.45 rupees to 1,307.03 rupees.

A selection of select Best FBOPs appreciated following special inquiry. However, teas at the bottom appreciated. FBOP1s in general were steady.

Select Best BOP1s were firm to dearer following quality, whilst Best and Below Best varieties were firm. Poorer sorts maintained.

Low Growns comprised of 2.1 million kilograms.

In the Leafy and Semi Leafy catalogues, a few select Best OP1/BOP1’s were steady to up, whilst the balance were steady.

Well-made OP/OPA’s were firm to selectively dearer following quality, whilst the Best and Below Best together with the poorer varieties down.

Well-made PEK/PEK1’s were firm to selectively up.

Best and Below Best varieties too met with fair demand, whilst the poorer sorts were fully firm.

Medium Growns

The Medium Growns sale average was up by 19.37 rupees to 1,127.22 rupees last week.

Large Leaf teas continued to sell well, whilst the others were down by 50-100 rupees per kilo.

In BOPF better sorts were steady and up to 50 rupees per kilo, whilst the others were irregular.

PEK/PEK1’s in general commenced firm on last and declined 50-100 rupees per kilo as the sale progressed.

(Colombo/Marh 26/2023)

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Sri Lanka seeks to settle India ACU debt, credit lines over 5-years

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has requested India to settle payments due to the country under the Asian Clearing Union mechanism and credit lines given in 2022 over 5 years, Indrajit Coomaraswamy, an advisor the island’s government said.

Sri Lanka is negotiating with India to settle the money over a 5-year period, Coomaraswamy, a former central bank governor told an online forum hosted by the Central Bank.

“Our request from the Indians is to settle it over five years,” he said. “That I think is still in the early stages of negotiation. The same with the one billion line of credit.”

Sri Lanka’s central bank owed the ACU 2.0 billion US dollars to the Asian Clearing Union according to a year end debt statement, issued by the Finance Ministry.

Sri Lanka owned India, 1,621 million dollars according to ACU data by year end, excluding interest.

India has given a 1 billion US dollar credit line to Sri Lanka as well a credit line for petroleum.

Sri Lanka in March 2024 has paid 121 million US dollar out of a 331 million US dollar IMF tranche to settle an Indian credit line.

Indian credits were given after the country defaulted in April 2022 as budget support/import when most other bilateral lenders halted giving money. (Colombo/Mar26/2023)

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Sri Lanka coconut auction prices up 1.16-pct

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s coconut auction prices went up by 1.16 percent from a week ago at an auction on Thursday, data showed.

The average price for 1,000 nuts grew to 83,219.45 from 82,260.58 a week earlier at the weekly auction conducted by Sri Lanka’s Coconut Development Authority on March 23.

The highest price was 92,500 rupees for 1,000 nuts up from the previous week’s 90,600 rupees, while the lowest was 76,500 also up from 70,000 rupees.

The auction offered 900,010 coconuts and 583,291 nuts were sold. (Colombo/Mar 26/2023)

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