Sri Lanka tea production, exports fall

Dec 05, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea production and exports in October fell after prices crashed although export earnings in the first 10 months have exceeded a billion dollars, brokers said.

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Tea exports in October had dropped to a four-year low of 25 million kilos while production for the month fell eight percent to 23.9 million kilos from a year ago.

Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said the October production was the lowest since 2006 and that since 1997 the October crop figure had usually been in excess of 24 million kilos with two exceptions.

“Low growns were worst hit by the market collapse and declined most,” the brokers said.

Low grown teas are made mainly by small farmers in the island’s south and account for more than half the national output.

They were badly affected when prices at the Colombo auction collapsed and have cut down on plucking while private factories which make black tea with leaf bought from farmers have also reduced output.

Asia Siyaka Commodities said production from the low grown elevation at 13.7 million kilos was the l