Sri Lanka tea prices fall

Feb 06, 2009 (LBO) – Prices of Sri Lankan tea fell on lower demand at this week’s Colombo auctions, breaking an upward trend that began with the first sale of the year, brokers said. High-priced teas from the low grown regions, which produce the bulk of the national crop, suffered the worst falls.

“The market for low grown varieties took a down word turn at this week™s auction,” brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said in a market report.

In the large leaf catalogue, Select Best Pekoe 1 varieties, for example, could not maintain the previous week’s high levels and prices fell 40-60 rupees per kilo.

Some varieties remained unsold.

In the small leaf catalogues too prices fell.

Teas produced by listed regional plantations companies also fell.

“The unusually large weight of 1.4 million kilos of Ex-Estate teas met with fair demand, but at lower rates,” Asia Siyaka Commodities said.

They said the backlog of stock from the end-December period was included in this sale.

Large volumes of teas were unsold towards the end of last year when auction prices crashed with the bursting of the global commodities bubble.

“It would have been prudent to spr