Sri Lanka tea export earnings hit new high

May 07, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea export earnings in the three months to March 2010 hit a new high in rupee terms although lower volumes were shipped compared with recent years, brokers said. Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said Sri Lanka’s tea exports in March 2010 fell by about five million kilos to 24.04 million kilos compared to 29.0 million kilos in the same month a year ago.

However, prices were much higher.

The approximate FOB (Free On Board) value for March 2010 was around 501.04 a kilo, up by 74.47 rupees compared to 426.57 rupees a kilo realized during March 2009. Asia Siyaka Commodities said Sri Lanka earned a record 34.9 billion rupees from tea exports during the first quarter of 2010.

“This years earnings are 27 percent more than the recession hit figure of 26.6 billion rupees of 2009.”

Tea production and exports slumped in 2009 owing to the effects of drought and global recession.

In US dollar terms, however, earnings in the quarter at 305.6 million dollars were marginally lower than the 2008 record of 305.9 million dollars, but “well ahead of the 2009 earnings of 242.2 million dollars,” the brokers said.

“What is significant about this year™s earni