Sri Lanka ships more earns more from shipping tea in April

Apr. 26 (LBO) – Sri Lanka shipped 98.65 million kilos of tea in April to overseas buyers higher than 87.96 million kilos reported during the same period 2005, a commodity brokering house said Wednesday.

Sri Lanka earned 814 million dollars from tea exports last year, up from 741 million dollars in 2004, Asia Siyaka said. Earnings from sale of tea in April topped 27.37 billion rupees, over 23.97 billion rupees recorded in 2005, Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers said.

A lion share of export revenue came from bulk tea, with the island shipping 58.98 million kilos, followed by packet tea – 25.40 million kilos.

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

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 Indian Ocean island’s tea faces stiff competition from 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.