Sri Lanka tea crop seen unlikely to match last year’s output

Sept 27, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea production is unlikely to match last year’s levels given a continuing decline in crops owing to bad weather, a broker said.

“In the mid grown areas on the eastern side, Namunukula and Passara, and Linugalla, and on the western slopes Kandy, Matale, Kurunegala and Madulkelle have recorded highest crop losses.” August tea production fell eight percent to 23.9 million kilos from last year with the worst hit being the higher elevations, Asia Siyaka Commodities said.

Bad weather in September means crops are unlikely to match the September 2010 production of 25.5 million kilos.

“Based on the poor weather conditions experienced up country so far in September it looks unlikely that national production this year will match last year’s output,” the brokers said.

Even though tea crops in the first quarter were high, the subsequent drop in output has resulted in the cumulative total production to August dropping to 220.8 million kilos from 222.6 million kilos a year ago.

In August production of high grown teas – at high elevations on the eastern and western slopes of the central hills – fell 20 percent to 4.2 mill