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Sri Lanka tea prices extend fall in May

Fifty percent of the man days lost to strikes were from the plantation industry.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tea prices extended falls across the board except for secondary teas in the third auction for May coming down from highs seen in April, with some unsold low grow teas, brokers said while the rupee also strengthened.

Ex-Estate met with good demand and Low Grown Orthodox teas saw lesser demand in the Colombo tea auction held on Tuesday and Wednesday, tea brokers said.

“Countries who earlier sought after quantity due to the tea starvation, have now resorted to going after quality,” a senior broker said.

“There was a marginal increase in crop (production) in May.”

Sri Lanka sold 5.4 million kilograms of Ceylon tea with 0.6 million kilograms of Ex-Estate tea and 2.6 million kilograms of Low Grown (Leafy/Tippy) teas down from 2.7 million kilograms sold at the previous auction.

At the previous auction on May 20 and 21 Sri Lanka sold 5.3 million kilograms of tea.

Low grown orthodox tea demand declined with an elevation average of 765.09 rupees/4.1 US dollar.

Elevation-wise averages for High a grown teas were 665.69 rupees/3.5 US dollars and for Mediums and Medium 607.78rupees/3.2 US dollars.

The rupee had also appreciated to around 186.08 to the US dolalr at the time of auction from over 190 when tea prices spike d in April.

In High grown teas Best westerns declined by 10-20 rupees per kilogram.

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Below best category a selection of clean leaf coloury teas gained by 20-30 rupees while others were firm and dearer to a lesser extent, in BOP categories.

Nuwara Eliya’s were firm to marginally dearer. Uva/Uda Pussellawa’s were barely steady.

In BOPF grades Best and Below best categories both declined by 30-50 rupees while the plainer sorts eased further.

Meanwhile BOPF grade Nuwara Eliya’s were mostly unsold where these teas were firmer in the last auction.

Uva/Uda Pussellawa higher priced teas were up to 100.00 rupees per kilogram easier at the commencement which afterwards declined to a lesser extent by the close.

In Medium grown teas, BOP’s were lower by 20-30 rupees whereas BOPF teas went up to 50 rupees per kilogram easier.

Well-made OP/OPA’s declined by 20-30 rupees a kilogram. Others together with teas at the lower declined by 20-30 or more at times.

Well-made PEK/PEK1’s declined sharply along with Below bests which declined by 20-40 rupees a kilogram.

Select best FBOP’s were irregularly easier while others dropped by 20-40 rupees. Select best FF1’s too eased as other sorts declined 20-40 rupees and more per kilogram.

Low grown, BOP1’s were easier by 20-30 and more while select best OP1 teas decline significantly. OP’s were easier by 20-30 rupees a kilogram and more particularly for better teas.

Better OPA’s declined by 30-50 rupees a kilogram while the lower end cleaner teas fell by 20 rupees. Meanwhile, Select best PEK/PEK1’s declined by Rs.30-40/- per kg whilst others too were easier but to a lesser extent.

Prices of select best FBOP’s along with all BOP, BOPF and FBOPF/FBOPF1 grades eased.

CTC

In CTC teas, high grown BP1s were mostly unsold while teas like PF1’s held firm following special inquiry. Others eased as far as 20 rupees a kilogram.

Mid grown BP1 teas were barely steady. PF1’s declined by 20 rupees a kilogram.

Low grown BP1 prices were irregular following quality of tea while PF1’s declined by 20 rupees a kilogram.

Low Growns reported heavy rains and strong winds from Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa regions throughout the week.

Western, Uva, Udapussellawa, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna regions reported an increase in the crop intake, whilst the Nuwara Eliya Region maintained, the report said.

Foreign market data was unavailable in the auction report.

Upcoming Sale 21 has 10,419 lots on offer at the auction which will be held next week.
(Colombo/May29/2020)