Sri Lanka tea prices end year on high note

Dec 23, 2010 (LBO) – Prices of Sri Lanka’s low grown teas, which make up 60 percent of production, rose at the last auction for the year this week with average prices also higher than last year, brokers said. “There was better demand at this week’s auction for low grown teas and prices gained selectively for most varieties of tea,” Asia Siyaka Commodities said.

Low grown teas are cultivated mostly by small farmers in the southern region.

The 3.3 million kilos of low growns on offer at the final sale of the year met with “excellent demand,” tea brokers John Keells said.

“In the absence of an auction in the final week of the year, it was evident that most buyers were looking to finalize the contracts in hand.”

In the leafy category, BOP1 type teas led the way with an invoice of Sithaka BOP1 setting a record price of 770 rupees a kilo, surpassing the previous best of 740 rupees established by the same tea factory the previous week.

The brokers said there was “excellent” demand from the main markets of Russia, Iran and Iraq.

The auction average prices up to the penultimate sale of the year were higher than those of last year both in rupee as well as dollar terms.

The nationa