Sri Lanka tea prices hold after government purchases

Oct 28, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea prices stabilized and more lots were sold at Tuesday’s Colombo auctions after the state-run Tea Board began buying in a market in a rare intervention, officials and brokers said. To receive instant alerts from LBO on your Dialog mobile type ‘lbo’ and send to 678

Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi said a stabilization fund is to be set up with initial treasury funding to support the market.

Brokers said prices of leafy teas firmed but most teas were still lower than the record highs although unsold volumes were much less Tuesday.

Chaanaka Jayasekara, director of tea brokers Bartleets Produce Marketing, said more teas were moving out of the auctions but at low price levels.

“Early in the sale about 60 percent was unsold but gradually lower bids came in and brokers started meeting them.”

Sri Lankan tea prices had been gradually falling, in line with the bursting of the commodities bubble globally, after reaching record highs earlier this year.

But the island’s tea trade was plunged into crisis last week when more than half the low grown teas went unsold and prices crashed.

High Tea

Sri Lanka tea prices stable