Sri Lanka tea export earnings exceed Kenya’s

Feb 03, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka earned a record 1.37 billion US dollars in tea exports in 2010, exceeding that of Kenya, which exported more, owing to higher prices and more valued added shipments, brokers said. The island’s tea export earnings from exporting 314 million kilos were 16 percent more than in 2009.

Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said exports in 2010 were eight percent higher than in 2009 when drought reduced the crop.

The highest volume ever exported by Sri Lanka was 327 million kilos in 2006.

Kenya is the world’s largest tea exporter, having edged past Sri Lanka a few years ago, but its earnings in 2010 were lower as its tea prices are lower than those of Ceylon tea.

“Interestingly, Kenya exported a highest-ever 441 million kilos in the year 2010,” the brokers said.

“The approximate US dollar value was 859 million US dollars. Kenya produced a highest-ever 399 million kilos, a sharp improvement on the drought-crippled 2009 figure of 314 million kilos.”

Kenya’s export volume in 2010 therefore include at least 10 percent of other origin teas, the brokers said.

Sri Lanka restricts imports of teas for blending only to certain specialty varieties.

Asia Siyaka