Sri Lanka tea prices on the upswing

Jan 23, 2009 (LBO) – Prices of tea, Sri Lanka’s main export commodity, rose again at this week’s Colombo auction on strong demand from traditional markets like Russia and the Middle East.

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Brokers said there was good demand for both low grown teas, which make up for the bulk of the crop and are produced by small farmers mainly in the island’s south, as well as high growns made mainly by listed plantations companies.

Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said most teas from high grown planting areas rose by 10-20 rupees a kilo.

At this week’s auction offerings totalled 6.9 million kilos of which re-prints, unsold teas offered for re-sale, comprised of 2.1 million kilos.

“There was good demand once again particularly for the BOPF (varieties) with prices strengthening as the sale progressed,” Forbes & Walker said in a market report.

“With the exception of the select Best Western BOPs which were irregular and the Nuwara Eliya BOPs which lost out in value, all others witnessed a firm to dearer trend in prices.”

The better liquoring teas were supported by shi