COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s value-added tea exports have slumped this year with tea bag shipments down 20 percent in the five months to May 2015 from a year ago, brokers said.
Tea exports fell two percent to 123.7 million kilos in the Jan – May 2015 period from a year ago with earnings down 12 percent to 74 billion rupees, Asia Siyaka Commodities said.
“In US dollar terms earnings have dropped 13.5 percent to a five year low of 562 million dollars,” they said in a report.
Shipments of tea bags were sharply down – by 20 percent – to 9.2 million kilos during January – May 2015 from the year before.
Exports of tea bags to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States during the January – May period had peaked at 2.2 million kilos in 2011.
“In 2014 the figure was 1.86 million kilos,” Asia Siyaka Commodities said. “At the end May 2015 quantities had crashed 55 percent to 0.84 million kilos.”
The approximate total average FOB (free on board) price for the January – May 2015 period is down to 4.48 US dollars a kilo from 5.04 dollars a year ago.
Asia Siyaka Commodities said a review of the different segments that make up exports showed a weakness in this year’s performance.
While total exports fell, shipments in bulk form increased eight percent and the volume of bulk tea shipments have grown to 42 percent of the total against 38 percent in 2014.
Packet tea shipments declined to 59.7 million kilos or 48 percent of this year’s total from 63.7 million kilos (50 percent) in 2014.