Sri Lankan tea prices ease on higher volumes

May 16, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea prices fell at this week's auction because of seasonal factors such as bigger volumes and lower quality, brokers said. A larger than usual volume of 8.2 million kilos came under the hammer this week with the quantities inflated by a backlog of teas held over from the traditional new year April holidays.

The quality of most of the high and mid growns teas showed a general decline while only a limited selection of low growns maintained quality, brokers said.

Tea prices usually fall at this time of year with the end of the western quality season and increase in crops.

"There was good demand for low grown leafy types, while small leaf high and mid growns witnessed much less demand and consequently a sharp decline in prices," Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said.

Ex-estate offerings totalled 1.5 million kilos, a 40 percent increase over the preceding week's auction quantities.

"Overall quality levels were irregular and much lower," the brokers said in their weekly auction report.

"The significantly larger weight on offer this week and the irregularities in quality would be a result of this week

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