Sri Lanka at disadvantage in Iraq tea tender

Oct 23, 2009 (LBO) – Iraq has issued a tender for 15 million kilos of packed black tea but Sri Lankan exporters are disadvantaged by high prices of Ceylon teas and payment problems, a broker said. But the deficit is still 42 million kilos compared with the output in 2008.

The global tea tea production shortfall has driven up prices both at auctions as well as in consuming countries. Asia Siyaka Commodities quoted industry sources and media reports as saying Iraq’s Trade Ministry through its State Company for Food Stuff Trading has invited offers for 15,000 tonnes of packed black tea.

“The offer is exclusively for Ceylon and Indian Teas,” the brokers said in a report.

Tenders close on November 08, 2009.

“High price of Ceylon tea and restriction on origin identity in Sri Lanka, compounded by a risky payment system would give India and some international intermediaries an advantage over the Sri Lankan export trade,” the brokers said.

Sri Lanka has strict standards on what can be exported as pure Ceylon tea.

Iraq was once one of the biggest markets for Sri Lankan tea but imports fell owing to the conflict there.

Sri Lankan tea prices have been rising at the Co