Bad Weather

This weeks low grown auction average could slip below Rs. 130, down from Rs. 147.46 for February.
Brokers say that buyers stepped up orders marginally at the weekly auctions, but preferred to stay at previously low prices.

Producers with little choice and desperate to liquidate their stocks to meet payments to leaf suppliers ahead of the Sinhala Tamil New Year sold reluctantly say brokers.

March average prices are also expected to be significantly lower from February brokers added.

Meanwhile, the industry is closely monitoring developments with the rejuvenated UN administrated Oil for Food programme, hoping that the 14 million kilo allocation granted to Sri Lanka is still valid.

Since the beginning of the Oil for Food programme Iraq has been gradually increasing Sri Lankas quota, with over xx million kilos absorbed under the previous programme.

Industry officials are hopeful for a similar allocation if not the same quantity.

Industry officials are also keen to leverage on all bilateral ties with Middle Eastern nations to find buyers for low grown teas during this bad spell.

Low grown teas are the works affected with the war in Iraq, as demand for teas from the elevation are primarily consumed by Arab nations.