Sri Lanka tea prices rise as output falls

March 07, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea prices rose at this week’s Colombo auctions mainly because of a shortfall in crop as well as improved quality, brokers said. Prices are likely to remain strong if the present dry weather continues and curtails the crop, they said.

About 50 invoices of high grown teas from regional plantations company estates fetched prices over Rs350 a kilo and a few even over Rs400 a kilo on strong demand from buyers, Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said.

“Overall quality showed improvement with teas from the Western planting districts showing a fair improvement vis-à-vis the previous week,” they said.

The current period is known as the western quality season when teas grown on the western slopes of the central massif produce their best quality.

The brokers said that ‘below best’ varieties and plainer teas too witnessed better inquiry perhaps as a consequence of improved quality and the limited availability.

Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said the weather remained dry in most tea planting districts with a few short localized thunder showers reported from the Western slopes and low grown areas.

“A further declin