Sri Lanka June tea exports fall

July 29, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea exports fell in June from a year ago with earnings for the first half buoyed by the rupee’s depreciation against the dollar, brokers said. Prices at this week’s Colombo auction also fell from the week before, mainly on lower quality.

Shipments of tea in June fell eight percent to 26.7 million kilos from a year ago while export earnings also fell marginally to 12.05 billion rupees, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said.

The only growth came from tea bag exports while tea in packets and tea in bulk fell during the month, they said.

Sri Lanka’s tea production fell sharply in the first few months of the year owing to a severe drought and the lagged effects of last year’s commodity market crash that led to the neglect of bushes.

Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodites said total exports during the six months to June 2009 were down 15 percent to 134.5 million kilos compared with the same 2008 period.

The shortfall of 24 million kilos so far this year is equal to an average month™s export quantity.

The earnings were seemingly better with the current year, down 11 percent against a 15 percent drop in quantity, the brokers said.