September Customs data indicates that US dollar value of tea exports was US$ 504.9 mn, up form the US$ 499.95 mn posted in 02.
Commodity brokers credited the increase to a rise in imported tea blending activities, boosting revenues from the category up US$ 6 mn to US$ 20 mn.
Dollar earnings for pure Ceylon tea exports for the period remain similar at around US$ 485 mn.
The increased dollar earnings also come despite a drop in export volumes brought on by a drop in bulk exports to Iraq.
Sri Lanka exported 218 mn kilos for the period January/September this year, a 4 mn kilos lower than the 222 mn kilos shipped during the same period last year.
However, commodity brokers add that the trend is not significant and that the dollar value increase in imported tea blending was customer requirements driven.
Meanwhile, Asia Siyaka Commodity brokers say a detailed analysis of the exports figure this year show a sharp rise to 41 percent of the value added segment compared with 35 percent last year.
However, the Commodity broker says the figures have shifted for two reasons, the first is the large packet tea order executed to Libya (15 mn kilos).
The second attributed is that exports to Iraq crashed as a result of the invasion and this caused a drop of bulk tea exports in the current year on year 2002.
rnldblquote With the Iraqi order now due to be completed by early December, we believe that the proportion of value added exports would decline as this order is mostly in bulk form,” Asia Siyaka says.