Sri Lanka tea output back to normal levels in February

Mar 23, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea production in February was back to the usual levels having recovered from the effects of drought and a market crash last year, Tea Board statistics showed. A total of 23.5 million kilos of tea, including green tea, was produced in February 2010, up sharply from the 12.9 million kilos made in the same month last year.

Production last year was affected by the effects of drought and the global commodities crash in late 2008 when growers cut back on cultivation after prices plunged.

In February 2008, according to revised Tea Board figures, Sri Lanka produced 25.4 million kilos, of which 15.5 million kilos were low grown teas and 5.5 million high growns.

This year the production from the low elevations, mainly by small farmers, amounted to 14.4 million kilos and from the high elevation, made mainly by listed regional plantations companies, 5.4 million kilos.

But brokers have said that the crop in March is expected to be lower than normal because of drought this year.

The Tea Board has said it expects annual tea production this year to be more than 300 million kilos after output fell to 290 million kilos in 2009.

The annual productio