August 24, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka shipped a record 185.9 million kilos of tea to overseas buyers for the seven months to July, a commodity broker said Thursday. However, a strike at the Colombo port in July crimped export targets, with the island shipping 27.4 million kilos as against 28.0 million over the corresponding period 2005, commodity brokers Asia Siyaka said.
The Indian Ocean island earned 50.89 million rupees from Jan.-July ’06, mainly helped by tea lovers from Russia (42.54 million rupees) and the United Arab Emirates (23.74 million rupees).
Sri Lanka, one of the top tea producers, grows tea in three elevations â€“ high, mid and low.
Out of the total 186 million kilos shipped, bulk tea led the way accounting for 114.35 million kilos, distantly followed by picketed tea 44.36 million kilos, Asia Siyaka said.
Ceylon Tea, as the island’s chief brew is popularly known among overseas tea connoisseurs, battles for market share with Kenya.
Kenyan tea industry is recovering from drought spell, with production of the country’s largest export falling 8.0 percent to 26.4 million kilos in May.
|Exports By Category – End July 2006|
|Quantity (Kg)||Value (Rs.)||Avg FOB per Kg|
|Tea in Bulk||114,315,505||98,848,167||25,892,713,658||22,059,165,250||226.50||223.16|
|Tea in Packets||44,356,133||44,644,911||11,585,918,816||10,996,187,165||261.20||246.30|
|Tea Imported /||6,521,035||5,603,110||2,808,856,014||2,282,084,884||430.74||407.29|
|(Source: Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers)|
Tea, Sri Lanka’s single largest net foreign exchange earner, brought in 814 million dollars worth of sales in 2005.