Value Deduction

Russian buyers favouring bulk tea over packed teas has been a leading factor in the drop.

Commodity brokers say this is a disappointing tu of events and feel that Sri Lanka should move fast to capture and develop other value added markets.

The Tea Board has identified Japan, the European Union and Austral Asia as potential value added markets.

China, a traditional tea drinking market is also being targeted for a variety of new tea based products targeted at the youth population.

Meanwhile, total exports increased a tad, growing by less than 1 million kilos to 120.4 million kilos from 119.5 million kilos for the January-may period.

Russia and other CIS countries continued to be the main buyer for Sri Lankan teas, importing an estimated 28 million kilos during the five month period. The collective group quotes buying has grown 27 per cent since 2000, soon after the region recovered from a prolonged recession.