Sri Lanka’s March tea output up 17.5 pct on better weather

COLOMBO, April 28 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s tea output gained 17.5 percent in March from the same month a year earlier, helped by favourable weather conditions, the state-run Tea Board said on Tuesday, helping to lift first-quarter production by 7 percent on last year.

    "Good climatic conditions are the main reason. Good sunshine and favourable climatic conditions helped the production in March," S.A Siriwardena, director general of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, said.

    The island nation’s annual tea output fell 0.6 percent in 2014 from a year earlier, missing the annual forecast. It rose 4.2 percent in 2013 to a record 340.2 million kg, surpassing its 2010 peak of 331.4 million kg.

    However, earnings hit a record $1.63 billion in 2014, up from $1.54 billion in 2013.

    Tea, Sri Lanka’s top agricultural export commodity, is one of the main foreign currency earners for the $76 billion economy. 

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