Sri Lankan tea output seen lower

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives with flowers to receive blessings at the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday 4 April 2018. On wednesday (4), Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion in the Sri Lankan parliament with a 46 vote majority after a 12-hour debate with 122 MPs voted in his support while 76 MPs voting to remove the prime minister. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Oct 30, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea production is expected to fall with a religious holiday stopping plucking this week and factories focusing on making better quality teas, brokers said.

To receive instant alerts from LBO on your Dialog mobile type ‘lbo’ and send to 678

Demand also improved at the Colombo auctions after the state-run Tea Board intervened to buy stocks, prompting other buyers to resume purchases.

Prices fell sharply at recent auctions and large volumes of tea, especially low grown varieties, remained unsold.

The sudden development created a crisis with brokers and factory owners facing cash flow problems, resulting in lower prices for small farmers who supply the green leaf.

Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said the crop intake for all high grown teas will show a decrease mainly due to the work stoppage for the Hindu Deepavali festival which took place on Monday.

“Low growns will show a decrease due to all factories going in for finer leaf and a quality product.”

The authorities have urged producers to make only good teas to reduce volumes and prop up prices.

Anil Cooke, president of brokers Asia Siyaka Commod