May 15, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s major tea exporters, who have made a proposal to liberalize tea imports to make the island a global centre for tea, say they do not want to import low quality teas for re-export. Sri Lanka’s Tea Exporters Association has made a proposal to liberalize tea imports for re-exports a move that is opposed by Dilmah, a successful brand owned by Sri Lanka’s MJF group, which says that Sri Lanka should preserve its single origin status.
Mabroc, another brand, which is now owned by a tea farming company, and is a member of the TEA has dropped its support to further liberalize imports.
Tea farming companies fear that the move will result in lower prices at Colombo auctions, though exporters point out that single origin or otherwise, no buyer pays a more than the next highest bidder to a producer at the auction.
Global commodity prices are now slumping from high seen last year. Oil, rubber, tea and palm oil have come off recent highs.
Tokyo rubber prices fell to a 4-month low this week, and oil palm plunged to a 14-month low last week as the US dollar gained. Gold has dropped to a six week low aga