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Sri Lanka tea export earnings hit new high

Sept 05, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lankan tea export earnings hit a new high up to July this year with strong demand continuing from the oil exporting regions of the Middle East and Russia, brokers said.

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Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said that according to an analysis of Customs data Sri Lanka earned 766 million dollars from tea exports during January - July 2008, up 44 percent compared with last year's record performance.

"Even with the rupee holding firm against the dollar, Sri Lanka has earned 82.6 billion rupees, 42 percent more than the figure of 58.3 billion rupees achieved during January to July 2007."

Asia Siyaka said 43 percent of all teas exported this year have been in value added form. "This is the best performance since 1998."

Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said tea exports in July 2008 totalled 34.3 million kilos, up five million kilos from July 2007.

It said export prices continued to improve.

The average Free On Board (FOB) unit value for July 2008 of 447.68 rupees per kilo reflects an increase of 97.50 rupees per kilo or 27.6 percent compared

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