The tea industry could start off the new year on a low price branch

The tea industry could start off the new year on a low price branch, with the current wet weather weighing down on quality and as a result on auction prices. The weekly sales average is already on a down trend at Rs. 193.51 this week, down from Rs. 196.70 in early November trading and Rs. 207.69 in 2004.

Commodity brokers say with the current wet spell, tea production will be lower in the coming weeks along with quality levels.

The stock of weather beaten teas will continue to reach the auctions atleast till end January and could push prices down further.

Sri Lanka is experiencing an extended monsoon season, which by tradition ends in October.

Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers in its weekly report said that the heavy showers that were reported across the Island, had eased since the last weekend.

Crop intakes during the period were low due to the rains, the Siyaka report said.

Despite the weather trodden production slowdown, Sri Lanka is in line to post another record production year, with the year end total forcased at 325 million kilos, beating the 2002 record 210 million kilos total.

-Shafraz Farook: shafraz@vanguardlk.com