Sri Lanka tea quality season hit by bad weather

Feb 25, 2011 (LBO) – Bad weather has disrupted the Sri Lankan tea industry’s ‘Western quality season’ when teas grown on the western slopes of the island’s central massif yield their best quality and fetch high prices, brokers said. The season, which is in the first quarter of the year “has been badly disrupted due to erratic weather conditions,” brokers John Keells said in a market report.

“Unseasonal weather which on more than one occasion produced extremely heavy rainfall has so far not enabled estates in the Western region to produce teas with seasonal character,” they said.

“It would appear that the overall quality from this sector will be disappointing, unless there is an immediate change in the weather.”

John Keells said heavy rains that drenched tea estates on the eastern slopes of the central hills at the start of the month had abated, with much brighter weather being reported.

“However, the unusually heavy rainfall has taken a heavy toll on crop in takes with some factories shutting down operations and diverting leaf to other factories for economic reasons.”

Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said prices were generally higher at this week’s Colombo auction where 5.5 million kilos of tea were on off