Sri Lanka tea prices fall as crops increase

May 14, 2010 (LBO) - Sri Lankan tea prices fell at this week's Colombo auctions owing to bigger quantities and lower quality and are likely to fall further in line with seasonal trends, brokers said. Prices of most teas from both the main low grown sector, which accounts for the bulk of the crop, and high growns cultivated mainly by estates run by listed plantations companies, fell.

"The weak market across the board at today™s ex-estate sale could partly be attributed to the abundance of plain weathery teas, and the large quantity on offer," brokers John Keells said in a report.

"More of the same trend is expected in the coming sales, not unusual at this time of the year.

"With crops remaining healthy, particularly from the Western sector, it is not difficult to predict, continuing easier prices, particularly for the 'Below Best' and 'plainer teas'."

The brokers said this trend could continue until such time towards the end of July, when auction quantities start to ebb and the first few brighter teas start to flow from the eastern part of the central hills in what is known as the 'Uva season'.

Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said the overall quality of teas was "distinctly low

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