Sri Lanka Q1 2006 tea exports up 6% on 2005

Apr. 26 (LBO) – Sri Lanka shipped 75.0 million kilos of tea in March, over 70.3 million kilos in 2005, a commodity brokering house said Wednesday. Revenues from tea exports for March topped 19.2 million rupees, over 21.2 million rupees, reported in 2005, Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers said.

Majority of the export earnings came from bulk tea, with the island shipping 45.9 million kilos.

Sri Lanka, one of the world’s top tea exporters, sold a record 308 million kilos (2.83 percent higher than 2004) last year.

The island’s tea competes head on with Kenya in the world market, but the official Kenyan tea board reported exports of 349 million kilos in 2005, to laying claim to be the top exporter.

Sri Lanka earned 814 million dollars from tea exports last year, up from 741 million dollars in 2004, Asia Siyaka said.

Tea is Sri Lanka’s largest single net foreign exchange earner after remittances from its countrymen employed abroad.