Sri Lankan tea prices ease, crops on the rise

May 02, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea prices have begun to decline with the end of the western quality season and increasing crops, brokers said. “The market is coming down because of high crops and because seasonal quality is over,” said a broker. “Now the Colombo market is very attractive, almost in line with Mombasa.”

Brokers said the decline in prices was seasonal with more crops coming in at this time of the year.

Furthermore, the quality of teas is not as good as those produced during the main western quality season in the first few months of the year and the Uva season in August-September.

Tea production is also way ahead of last year when output was affected by the previous year’s strike on the estates followed by drought.

The crop for April at 30.8 million kilos was almost six million kilos more than the same month in 2007.

The increase came largely from low growns, which now make up well over half the production.

Total production for the first quarter of 2008 was almost 83 million kilos, about 18.8 million more than the crop in the same 2007 period.

The floods that hit some of the tea growing regions