Sri Lankan tea prices rise

Feb 23, 2009 (LBO) – Tea prices rose sharply at last week’s Colombo auction with crops on the decline and the quality season which attracts overseas buyers in full swing, brokers said. The brightest seasonal Nuwara Eliya BOP teas moved up sharply by 50 – 100 rupees per kilo.

The market also moved up sharply for teas from the low grown areas, which make up over half the crop and are made by small farmers mainly in the island’s south.

“Low Grown varieties gained substantially and in the Large Leaf catalogues prices continued to increase as the sale progressed and this proved even in the sales of Small Leaf varieties,” Asia Siyaka Commodities said.

“The biggest gain was witnessed for the Pekoe / Pekoe1 varieties which gained 40 – 50 rupees a kilo and more as the sale progressed.”

In the Small Leaf catalogues FBOP / FBOP1 types gained up to 20 rupees a kilo.

Tea prices crashed towards the end of last year throwing the industry into a crisis but have been recovering since the beginning of the year. Teas from the western slopes of the island’s central massif produce their best quality at this time of year and fetch high prices.

Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers sai