Sri Lanka’s tea crop dips 5% in April

June 7, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea crop for the four-months to April grew to an all time high of 2.9 percent or 108.52 million kilos, helped on by good rainfall, a commodity brokering house said Wednesday. Black tea production for April however, slipped 5-percent to 30.59 million kilos, Asia Siyaka Commodity brokers said.


 


 


 


 


 


 


Black Tea


April


Todate


 In Kilos


2006


2005


+/- %


2006


2005


+/- %

High Grown

7,578,446

9,410,059

-19.5

26,808,570

29,378,988

-8.7

Medium Grown

5,686,384

5,841,144

-2.6

18,398,531

19,181,385

-4.1

Low Grown

17,329,036

16,959,930

2.2

61,932,119

56,263,347

10.1


Total


30,593,866


32,211,133

-5.0


107,139,220


104,823,720

2.2

“April 2005 was an all time record for the month and the current year’s production is only second to this,” the firm said.

The dry warm conditions in the higher elevations during April nipped away production of high grown tea varieties by 19.0 percent to 7.5 million kilos.

Tea output in March recorded a high of 29.1 million kilos and the April figure reflects a gain on this, explains Anil Cooke Senior Vice President of Asia Siyaka.

Sri Lanka, one of the top tea producers, faces stiff competition from Kenya for a slice in the global commodity race.

Kenya’s tea sector is just rebounding from a searing drought, with production of the country’s largest exports rising to 70.89 million kilos for the four-months to April.


All Teas


April


Todate


 In Kilos


2006


2005


+/- %


2006


2005


+/- %

Orthodox

28,402,324

29,928,693

-5.1

100,324,305

98,641,550

1.7

CTC

2,191,543

2,282,440

-4.0

6,814,916

6,182,170

10.2

Green Tea

406,035

206,479

96.6

1,378,377

663,561

107.7


Total


30,999,902


32,417,612

-4.4


108,517,598


105,487,281

2.9


(Source: Asia Siyaka) 

Tea is Sri Lanka’s biggest single net foreign exchange earner – bringing in 814 million dollars in 2005 – after remittances from locals residing overseas.