Adding Layers

Volumes shipped in this period have reached the 271.9 mn kilo mark, a 3.5 percent jump on the 262 mn kilos shipped in 2000.

If anything, loss of working days during the election may be the only constraint in reaching the 288 mn kilo target, brokers said.

The value of exports at Rs. 56 bn has also spiralled 18 percent over Rs. 47 bn earned in 2000, said Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers.

The CIS absorbed 22 percent of all exports or 58 mn kilos. UAE and Syria followed behind at 32 and 23 mn kilos respectively.

Meanwhile at the first auction in the New Year 4.7 mn kilos came under the hammer, with high prices being recorded in the Low Grown sector.

The market for Off-grades was also stronger this week, following Iraq
quote s call for fresh shipments in 2002.

Meanwhile, crop intakes for November dropped 6 percent to 27 mn kilos compared to 28.7 mn kilos in November 2000.

Tea production as at end November was down 3.7 percent to 268 mn kilos over the 278 mn kilos over the same period last year.

The poor performance came entirely from the Low Grown sector, Asia Siyaka said.

Since May 2001, a negative performance has been recorded in each of the five months leading to November.

Plantations were hit the most in the last quarter during the height of the drought with intakes the lowest in September at volumes of 17 mn kilos.

Production reached a peak in November at 305 mn kilos, but brokers say it is unlikely that total production for 2001 will reach that figure.

Even a maximum of 32 mn kilos in December would not bridge the gap, Asia Siyaka Brokers say, forecasting a value closer to 300 mn kilos at year-end.

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