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Monday December 4th, 2023

Sri Lanka tea prices arrest slide in low volumes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka tea prices picked up at the second weekly auction in November amid low volumes, ending four straight weeks of falls, brokers said.

“Auction volumes declined and totaled 4.3 M/Kgs this week following the work stoppage on account of the Deepavali holidays during end October,” Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said.

“The extremely low volumes on offer this week and its continuation over the next couple of weeks perhaps triggered the additional buying interest.”

High Growns picked up with BOP up 100 rupees and BOPF grade up around 50 rupees.

Last week the average low grown price was 1,401.30 rupees.

CTC High Growns fll to 942.20 rupees a kilogram from 1149.63 rupees.

Western High fell to 1,090.07 rupees per kilogram from 141.46 rupees, while Uva fell to 1,080.72 rupees per kilogram from 1163.22 rupees.

BOP’s best Westerns were dearer by 50-100 rupees per kg. Below best too followed a similar trend. Plainer types were firm to Rs.50/- per kg dearer.

Nuwara-Eliya’s were irregular. Uda Pussellawa’s moved up by 30 rupees per kg and more. Uva’s maintained.

BOPF’s best Westerns on offer appreciated by 50 rupees per kg and more. Below best were firm. Plainer types gained by 50 rupees per kg.

Medium growns picked up between 100 to 150 rupees a kilogram. Last week the medium grown avarges was 1,119.93 rupees a kilogram.

Low Growns

Low-grown teas, farmed mainly by smallholders and exported to the Middle East and Central Asia, are the most sought-after and expensive Ceylon Teas.

Low growns also fell to 1328.54, data released by Forbes and Walker showed.

Low-grown CTC prices have gained this week to. 945.32 per kilogram this week from 886.10 per kilogram last week.

Orthodox teas have slipped to 1,356.80 per kilogram from 1,454.56 per kilogram.

Few BOP well-made invoices were dearer whilst others held firm.

BOPF’s in general, are easier to market

FBOPF/FBOPF1’s select best invoices increased in value, whilst others held firm.

Selected best BOP1’s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower. Poorer types maintained. OP1’s Select best were marginally lower whilst best and below best declined.

Medium Growns

CTC medium-grown category fell to 815.25 rupees per kilogram from 989.68 rupees per kilogram.

Western medium was down from 1,087.37 rupees to 955.24 this week.

Uva teas fell to 1,139.62 rupees per kilogram.

BOPF’s in general, gained by 50 rupees per kilogram.

BOP1’s select best and best gained by 100 rupees per kg, whilst the below best and the plainer sorts moved up by Rs. 50/- per kg.

OP1’s select best and best dearer by 100 rupees per kg whilst the below best gained by 50 rupees per kg. Teas at the bottom maintained.

OP/OPA’s Select best and best declined by 50 rupees per kg whilst all others firm.

PEK’s in general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg and PEK1’s select best gained by 100 rupees per kg.

Sri Lankan tea has been earning higher prices for tea exports in rupees after the currency was depreciated in March against the USA dollar in 2022. (Colombo/Nov 20/2022)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up as some investor interest returns

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Monday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.22 percent, or 23.33 points, at 10,743.59.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.68 percent, or 20.60 points, at 3,067.73.

Turnover was at 708 million. The banks sector contributed 189 million, while the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 176 million of this.

Sri Lanka’s stock market has seen some investor interest return after last week’s news that the country had managed an agreement on a debt restructuring deal with an official creditor committee, and foreign funds for some development projects resumed.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were Sampath Bank Plc (up at 71.50), LOLC Holdings Plc (up at 379.00), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, (up at 90.90).

There was a net foreign outflow of 52 million.

Citrus Leisure Plc, which announced that its banquet hall and revolving restaurant at the Lotus Tower would launch on or around Dec 9, saw its share price rise to 6.20 rupees. (Colombo/Dec4/2023).

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Sri Lanka rupee closes broadly steady at 328.10/30 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 328.10/30 to the US dollar on Monday, from 328.00/10 on Friday, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.70/14.00 percent from 13.70/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.10 percent from 13.90/14.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/14.10 percent from 14.05/10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.20/35 percent from 14.15/25 percent.

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

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.05/40 percent, from 14.00/45 percent. (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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Gov minister highlights abortion rights, sex-ed for children, and Sri Lanka men killing their women

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s legislators have politicized the topics of rape and violence without addressing the elephant in the room, Jeevan Thondaman, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development said in parliament on Monday (4).

“All the members here are talking about rape. What happens after that? We must talk about abortion rights. That is not something anyone wants to touch on, and that is why we are in this place right now,” Thondaman said.

“Despite alarming statistics on rape and violence, women are often blamed and punished for it. The criminalisation of abortion is a major example of this.”

Sri Lanka has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. According to a 2016 estimate by the Health Ministry, he said, approximately 658 abortions take place a day, and close to 250,000 a year.

“That’s 250,000 women whose lives you are endangering.”

He added that what was needed at this point in time was comprehensive sexual education (CSE) for children and young people.

“Only through CSE in schools will children and young people develop, accurate, age appropriate knowledge attitude and skills; positive values such as respect for human rights, gender equality, diversity and attitude and skills that contribute to a safe, healthy and positive relationship.”

Thondaman pointed out that CSE plays a pivotal role in preparing young people for a world where HIV, AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, and sexual and gender based violence still pose a risk to their well-being.

“CSE basically empowers children take control and make informed decisions freely and responsibly.”

Thondaman also highlighted the findings of a 2021 study (Fatalities_20211109_UNFPA) by the UNFPA and the University of Kelaniya that showed that a majority of women killed in Sri Lanka were murdered by those close to them.

“62 percent of homicides of Sri Lankan women are committed by either an intimate partner, ex-partner or family member. 84 percent are killed in their own homes by someone they know.”

Police and the judiciary have failed Sri Lanka’s women, the minister pointed out.

“Only 5 percent of these cases, between 2013-2017, were ever concluded. Men claim they were provoked, or are of unsound mind or have mental illness: These have been successful defenses. And the Police often express sympathy to this narrative as opposed to the victim’s.”

“We have a history of protecting oppressors.”

It takes 7-10 years for a child rape case to conclude, he pointed out.

Establishment of child courts are needed, he said, as well as several legislative amendments. “The government is working on a new law to reform the domestic violence act, reform of marriage and divorce laws to ensure there is an easier path to divorce: no one should be forced to remain in a marriage that is either abusive or not healthy.” (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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