Sri Lanka tea prices recover

Mar 29, 2012 (LBO) – Prices of Sri Lankan tea, especially those grown at low elevations, perked up at this week’s auction, giving some relief to producers battered by rising costs and reduced demand in key markets. “The 3.0 million kilos of low grown teas that came under the hammer this week met with excellent demand,” brokers John Keells said in a report.

It said that at the previous sale, of March 21, 2011, the average price for low grown teas, had risen by as much as 20 rupes a kilo “which was a phenomenal increase.”

Previously, averages above 390 rupees a kilo for low grown orthodox teas were realized as far back as March 2011.

“In this week’s sale, the prices for most grades once again advanced in value and the average for low grown teas is expected to reach 400 rupees a kilo and above,” John Keells said.

Low grown teas account for the bulk of the crop and are cultivated mainly by small farmers who had been hit hard by lower demand in key markets like the Middle East owing to political turmoil there.

The brokers said prices of teas from the higher elevations, grown mainly by regional plantation company estates, also improved.

“The 1.1 million kilos of ex-estate teas met with