Records despite rain ruined production

Despite lower productions since October, the island’s annual tea production could still beat the 2002 record of 310 million kilos. Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers said “Even though the heavy rains in October and November caused a production short fall against 2004, Sri Lanka is still on its way to achieving a record an annual figure in 2005.”

November tea production hit a five year low, as the extended monsoon season weathers down production in the high and low grown regions.

November Tea Production at 26.3 million kilos is at a 5 year low, the Siyaka weekly report said.

In 2004 Sri Lanka produced 27.2 million kilos of tea below the highest ever 28.6 million kilos produced in 2003.

The report said “This November’s elevational production loss as a percentage of the year-ago figure; was mostly from the High Growns which declined 8 percent.”

In quantity however the greater short fall over 2004 was from the low grown segment which lost 800,000 kilos or a 5 percent drop.

The cumulative performance up to November 2005 is 291 million kilos, up 3.5 percent on the 2004 output of 281.6 million kilos.

“Sri Lanka only needs another 19 million kilos in December to achieve the 2002 record of 310 million kilos,” the Siyaka Report said.

Production in December has been in the region of 26-28 million kilos in recent years.

The Siyaka report says that even after considering the adverse weather that has curtailed production from all planting districts, tea output in December 2005 could be a low 25 million kilos to a high of 27 million kilos.

“A final figure for 2005 therefore, would be a record of 316-318 million kilos,” the report said.

-LBO Newsdesk: lboemail@vanguardlk.com