Sri Lanka tea output grows by over 18 pct

July 23, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s tea production rose by 18.2 percent to 171.3 million kilograms (376.9 million pounds) during the first half of this year, the Sri Lankan Tea Board said Wednesday.

Production in June was 27.3 million kilograms, up 16.2 percent from the 23.5 million kilos during the same month last year.

“The weather gods have been good to us this year, while companies are also applying fertiliser periodically, despite high world prices,” said Anil Cooke, senior vice president of the privately-run Asia Siyaka Commodity brokers.

Ceylon Tea is one of Sri Lanka?s main foreign currency revenue earners along with remittances, clothing and tourism. Sri Lanka, the world’s largest exporter of tea after Kenya, has benefitted from the recent global commodity boom. It earned 507.1 million dollars from tea during January to May this year, up 43 percent over the same period in 2007.