Sri Lanka spice exports up 40-pct

Dec 17, 2013 (LBO) – Export revenues of spices from Sri Lanka have risen 40 percent from a year earlier to 274 million US dollars in the first 10 months of 2013, an industry body said. Two centuries ago spices and areca nut were Sri Lanka’s key exports contributing to thje majority of government revenues.

The state in this budget slapped export taxes on several types of spices including cinnamon which analysts say can reduce revenues to farmers but help recover costs of subsidies which are financed with taxes on other citizens.

Pepper exports have grown 81 percent to 108 million US dollars, cinnamon was flat at 105.6 million US dollars, Spices & Allied Products Producers’ & Traders Association (SAPPTA) said.

Clove revenues have grown 223 percent to 45 million after falling to 14.09 million US dollars in 2012 from 34 million dollars in 2011.

Essential oil exports rose 22 percent to 18.4 million after falling 7.9 percent 2012.

SAPPTA said value and volumes were both up with value added products also helping revenues.

SPPTA said higher production by small holders who were helped by agricultural extension services and a fertilizer subsidy contributed to the g