Sri Lanka tea prices fall

Nov 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea prices fell at this week’s Colombo auctions with reduced demand and brokers saying the island is unlikely to match last year’s annual production owing to a slower recovery in crops. A key buyer also kept out of the first day of the auctions owing transport problems involving threats from a ruling party politician that were sorted out after the intervention of the plantations minister, officials said.

Brokers said there was lower demand for teas from the estates as well as those from low grown elevations grown mostly by small farmers which make up the bulk of the crop.

A few high grown teas of good quality from the western slopes of the central hills increased in price but most others fell or maintained last week’s levels.

Some ‘BOPF’ type teas fell 20-30 rupees and low grown ‘CTC PF1’ teas fell even more sharply – by 50-60 rupees a kilo and at times more, with several lots remaining unsold.

Akbar Brothers, one of the island’s biggest tea exporters, did nit buy on the first day of the auctions this week, after threats by a ruling party politician who had demanded the contract for transport.

However, they resumed buying after plantations industries minister