Sri Lanka tea exporters to see a silver lining in dark cloud soon: Heladiv Chief


Aug 26, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea exports will see positive signs in the market in near future with prospects of a settlement to the long drawn political tension between the USA and Iran and the stabilizing of the Russian Ruble, HVA foods, which exports ready to drink tea under “Heladiv” said.

Sri Lankan tea exporters are currently going through a difficult period with tea exports declining for eleven consecutive months due to lower demand from Middle East and Russian markets.

“When taking into account the economic fundamentals governing the trading in agricultural commodities, there is no need to panic over the current decline in tea prices, as the prices are directly linked to the global supply and demand position,” Rohan Fernando, Chairman of HVA Foods told shareholders in the Annual report.

“Unfortunately, most people have not understood this economic phenomenon but blindly hold the tea exporters responsible for the low prices,”

“Amidst this doom and gloom, there are positive signs emerging,” he said.

The positive signs emerge due to the prospects of a settlement to the long drawn political battle between the USA and Iran and the stabilising of the Russian Ruble.

Fernando says that will “hopefully improve the demand for teas from these countries.”

He accused bureaucrats of the previous administration for deliberately delaying a global tea marketing campaign despite collecting a huge fund from a cess on exports.

The change of administration at the Ministry of Plantations and the Sri Lanka Tea Board has vastly improved the interaction between the officials and representatives of the trade, Fernando added.

“They have now understood the importance of promotion and marketing of indigenous tea brands in the global market place to entice consumers to buy Ceylon Teas,”

“Although the scheme is four years too late, the cabinet approval received for the Global marketing campaign will have positive results in reversing the negative effects at the Colombo tea auctions,”

“For five long years, when the tea prices enjoyed a premium at the Colombo Auction, the top bureaucrats were comfortable in assuming that prices would continue to maintain high levels and purposely delayed the global marketing campaign,”

“What we are seeing today are the ill effects of bad decisions taken in the recent past.”