Tea production continues to grow, with low elevations recovering after December Tsunami

Sri Lanka’s April 2005 tea output topped 32.21 million kilos, up 8 percent over the previous record for the highest monthly volume, posted in April 2004. Tea production up to April 2005 at 104.8 million kilos is also some 3 percent up from the 102 million kilos produced in the first four months of 2004.

End April gains came mainly from improved performances by higher elevations, with low country plantations suffering a 3.6 percent drop in production to 56 million kilos from 58 million kilos in 2004 after the December tsunami.

Ratnapura, the prime low elevation tea growing region recorded a sharp drop in production for the period with Galle too losing crop but to a lesser extent.

Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers however in its weekly tea report said 2005’s performance so far is also the best for any first four month period total, topping the 2002 record year.

Siyaka said that the island rarely achieves monthly production of 30 Million and above – with only two previous occasions on record.

The highest ever monthly figure is 33.6 million kilos recorded in 2002. Sri Lanka went on to achieve a record annual production figure of 310 million kilos that year, Siyaka reported.

High grown tea production increased 17 percent to 9.4 million kilos while mid-elevation teas moved from 5.3 to 5.8 million kilos, an 8 percent increase.

Low grown teas accounting for 55 percent of all teas produced recorded a 3 percent increase to 16.9 million in April.

Industry officials say the growth spurt comes as estates affected by the December tsunami recover from the tragedy that destroyed over two third of Sri Lanka’s coastal belt – killing over 30,000 people and displacing some one million people.

April Todate
(Kg) 2005 2004 +/- % 2005 2004 +/- %
High Grown 9,410,059 8,032,976 17.1% 29,378,988 26,372,759 11.4%
Medium Grown 5,841,144 5,372,896 8.7% 19,181,385 17,346,834 10.6%
Low Grown 16,959,930 16,452,603 3.1% 56,263,347 58,377,873 -3.6%
Total 32,211,133 29,858,475 7.9% 104,823,720 102,097,466 2.7%
 
April Todate
(Kg) 2005 2004 +/- % 2005 2004 +/- %
Orthodox 29,928,693 28,317,381 5.7% 98,641,550 96,336,318 2.4%
CTC 2,282,440 1,541,094 48.1% 6,182,170 5,761,148 7.3%
Total 32,211,133 29,858,475 7.9% 104,823,720 102,097,466 2.7%

Source : Asia Siyaka

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