Warm Cup

Despite torrential rains and heavy flooding on some estates, tea crop intakes in April have reached record levels at 29.38 mn kilos.

This is 7.8 percent up on last years record figure of 27.27 mn kilos, Asia Siyaka Tea brokers say.

All three elevations e improved on last years levels, most significantly the Low Grown sector which moved up from 12 mn kilos in March to 14 mn kilos by April.

Low country production still lags behind 2002 levels however, and is expected to widen in May as the full impact of the floods hits the market.

“This April crop gain is significant considering the depressed market conditions that prevailed and the resulting reduced crop intake by factories”, Asia Siyaka adds.

But brokers say that production figures may be overstated by carry over numbers from the previous period.

The April boost has taken the years total production back into the black, following the negative performance at the end of March 2002.

Cumulative intakes from January to end April stands at 100.98 mn kilos, up 1.6 percent on the 99.4 mn kilos recorded for the same period last year.

Asia Siyaka forecasts May production to be significantly lower as a result of the sharp drop in intakes from the low country.

“It is likely to be 4 to 6 mn kilos lower than the record 33.6 mn kilos in May 2002.”