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Tuesday May 21st, 2024

Sri Lanka tea exports down 10-pct in July; dollar and rupee earnings up

Tea pluckers in Sri Lanka – file photo

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tea exports fell 10.91 percent from a year ago to 22.76 million kilograms in July 2022, though rupee and dollar earnings were up due to a currency collapse, industry data showed.

US dollar earnings were up 2 percent to 117.5 million dollars in July from a year ago, data from Ceylon Tea Brokers show.

Rupee earnings were up 84 percent to 42.4 billion rupees, from 23 billion rupees in the previous year.

The average free onboard price for a kilogram of Ceylon Tea had risen to 5.16 US dollars in July 2022 from 4.51 a year ago.

The price of Tea in bulk per kilogram has increased to 1,610.35 rupees compared to 755.62 rupees in the same period last year.

Tea in packets price has increased to 1,740.88 rupees per kilogram compared to 834.12 rupees.

Tea in bags’ prices doubled to 3,062.91 rupees from 1,676.96 rupees.

The average price of instant tea in July was 2,821.22 rupees, up from 1,765.47 rupees in 2021.

Green tea prices had increased to 5,168.36 rupees per kilogram in July 2022, up from 2,361.62 rupees per kilogram in 2021.

In the seven months to July, tea exports were down 9.5 per cent to 162 million kilograms from 148 million kilograms in the previous year.

In dollars terms, the total value of export from January to June is 702 million dollars, down 8.3 percent.

Whereas in rupee terms, Sri Lanka has generated 206 billion rupees for the first seven months of 2022 compared to 150 billion rupees in 2021.

Iraq has remained the top buyer, consuming 27.9 million kilograms this year, recording an increase of 35 percent compared to last year’s 20 million kilograms.

Sri Lanka’s tea sector had been hit by a fertiliser ban, apparently done to ‘save foreign exchange’ due to the operation of a soft-peg and also under the advice of the Government Medical Officers Association to increase the longevity of the population. (Colombo/Aug21/2022)

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Sri Lanka declares May 21 as National Mourning day over Iranian President’s death

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka declared a national mourning day on Tuesday, May 21 in view of expressing its solidarity with Iran after sudden death of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi following a helicopter crash.

President Raisi and eight others including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed in the crash when the helicopter had a “hard landing” reportedly due to adverse weather conditions with heavy fog. However, President’s two convoy helicopters reached the destination safely.

“The Sri Lankan government has declared a national mourning day on tomorrow (May 21) on behalf of the sudden death of Iranian president Mr. Ebrahim Raisi,” the Department of Government Information said in a statement.

It also urged all the state institutions have to hoist the national flag half mast.

Raisi was in Sri Lanka on April 24 to launch the Uma Oya dam on a one-day official visit amid tight security. His helicopter crashed when he was returning to Iran after launching a dam in the Azerbaijan border.

President Raisi is seen as a hardliner and a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said the island nation will deal with Iran for investments and trade without being caught into the United States-led sanctions.

Sri Lanka was unable to receive $450 million from Iran for a recently opened Uma Oya multipurpose project started before the sanctions.

Sri Lanka now exports tea to Iran for no dollar payment. Instead, Sri Lanka tea producers are paid by the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in rupees for the pending crude oil import payments for Iran.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his condolences on the tragic incident.

“Sri Lanka is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and other senior Irani official,” he said in his official X-platform.

“I express my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the government and the people of Iran.”

Raisi, a Muslim jurist, served as the eighth president of Iran from 2021 until his death. (Colombo/May 20/2024)

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Sri Lanka helps launch Global Blended Finance Alliance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has joined a group of nations led by Indonesia which aims to mobilise capital to achieve carbon neutrality, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman said.

The Global Blended Finance Alliance mooted by Indonesia in 2018, was formally launched at the World Water Forum in Bali today.

Among the other founding members are Fiji, France, UAE, Kenya, Luxembourg and Canada.

“Through our collective efforts, the Global Blended Finance Alliance aims to mobilise both public and private capital to help nations achieve carbon neutrality and the SDGs,” Thondaman said on social media platform X (twitter).

“The world has a USD 2.5 trillion funding gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” he said.

Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance, such as public and/or philanthropic funds, for the mobilisation of additional commercial finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes slightly stronger at 299.60/75 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee appreciated slightly to close at 299.60/75 to the US dollar on Friday, from 299.70/80 the previous week, dealers said. Bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed up at 10.15/35 percent from 10.05/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed up at 10.45/55 percent from 10.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 10.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2030 closed at 11.70/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed up at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.85/12.00 percent. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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