Sri Lanka tea prices fall as crop increases

May 15, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea prices fell at the Colombo auctions this week but brokers said there was better demand for the increased volumes on offer. They said that despite the generally lower prices some well-made teas fetched record prices.

Tea industry officials said production had recovered from the effects of drought earlier this year. “This week’s auction offerings recorded a significant increase compared to the preceding week’s sale quantities and totalled 6.8 million kilos, an increase of about 40 percent,” Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said in a report.

“There was good general demand.”

Offerings from estates run by regional plantations companies “showed a substantial increase” compared with last week, they said.

“Notwithstanding the substantially increased volume on offer it was encouraging to witness wide spread demand which was maintained more or less throughout the sale.”

But the brokers said that prices in general declined 10-20 rupees a kilo on average with the better CTC varieties (cut, tear and curl teas meant for tea bags) declining even further.”

Nevertheless, amidst this lower trend, the liquoring lea