ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan tea prices were generally lower at this week’s auction despite some invoices continuing to hit new highs after sharp gains in recent weeks prompted international buyers to look at other origins.
There was lower demand for teas from private company estates this week, while there was fair demand for low-grown teas that were on offer, brokers John Keells Ltd said.
Among teas from the estate a limited selection of well-made bright teas with seasonal character sold well but other good invoices were generally easier for BOP and BOPF grades while plainer sorts were irregular, and mostly lower, they said.
Global tea trading company Van Rees said in a report on last week’s auction that dry weather conditions and strengthening foreign currencies were the main cause of “some fireworks” at the Colombo sale.
“While last week many grades traded steady to easier, this week the auction traded fully firm to dearer. With these high price levels continuing, some buyers out of the top 5 Sri Lankan tea drinking countries are shifting their interest from Sri Lankan to other origins,” Van Rees said.
Tea prices in Colombo made sharp gains in recent weeks, with some high and medium grown teas appreciating Rs20-30 and Rs30-60 a kilo and low grown teas rising Rs30-40. Some BOPF type teas had gained up to Rs70 per kilo, with prices of several invoices breaking records.
(COLOMBO, Feb 24, 2017)