Sri Lankan tea production falters in May

June 19, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea production in May dropped 22.7 percent to 25.54 million kilos from a year ago owing to the effects of drought, a Tea Board official said. Tea production in the year to May was down 26.9 percent to 105.5 million kilos but a recovery is expected in the coming months.

The unusual dry weather in the first quarter of this year in plantation areas has affected production, said Chaminda Sampath Perera, a market analyst at the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

Most plantations had difficulties applying fertilizer as the plants should receive water as soon as the fertilizer is applied.

May tea production from the high grown plantations, predominately in the Nuwara Eliya, Hatton and Badulla areas was down 20.7 percent to 7.71 million kilograms.

Medium grown tea production mainly in the Rathnapura district was down almost 30 percent to 3.7 million kilos, while production of low country tea, concentrated in the south of the island had dropped 21.7 percent to 14.0 million kilos.

In the year to May high grown tea production was down 17.5 percent to 31.0 million kilos, while medium grown tea production was down 24.0 percent to 17.