Sri Lanka tea prices hit new monthly high in May

ECONOMYNEXT – Prices of low-grown teas in Sri Lanka, made mainly by small farmers in the south, hit a new monthly average high at the Colombo auctions in May 2017, with heavy rains that triggered floods and landslides expected to reduce crops.

Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said a significant gain in prices was seen in May 2017 for each elevation compared to a year ago, with low-growns teas fetching their highest-ever prices.

“Low-grown tea averages for the month of May 2017 of 669.08 rupees a kilo show a significant gain vis-à-vis 422.41 rupees a kilo in May 2016,” they said.  “It is also noteworthy that this is the highest low-grown average for a calendar month, improving on the previous best of 663.07 rupees realized during April 2017.”

Both orthodox, low-grown teas and CTC low growns made for tea bags have shown a substantial gain over the corresponding period of 2016 in rupee and US dollar terms, the brokers said.

Brokers have said volumes of tea on offer at the Colombo auctions will fall in forthcoming sales as cultivation and supply were disrupted by floods and landslides in some southern growing areas.

Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said prices of teas from other elevations like the Uva High and Western High also showed big gains in both rupee and dollar terms in May 2017 from a year ago, along with those grown at medium elevation.

“It is also noteworthy that these levels are significantly higher than the 2015 levels in LKR/USD terms.”
(COLOMBO, June 12, 2017)

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