Local tea exporters are eying a 4 million to 6 million kilo order from Iraq under the current World Food Programme (WFP) that is supplying the war impoverished Middle East nation since the US led attracts ended last year.
Sri Lanka won a sizable 8 million kilos tender under the previous programme, but is still to complete the order, industry sources said.
Prior to the invasion, Iraq which was under sanctions, directly sourced its teas by tender under the lquote oil for food program.
The new tender closed today, for delivery in May, Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers said.
“Sri Lanka who has always been a preferred supplier to this market could well earn for itself a significant share of the tender,” Asia Siyaka said.
However, delivery will once again pose a threat, more so with April poll and the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year, followed up by the Vesak in early May.
For producers this tender represents a life line for the rush crop after the New Year which causes the market to plummet below cost.
Meanwhile, Customers officials confirmed this week that January tea exports reached 24.6 million kilos at a value of Rs.5.7 Billion.
This translates into Rs. 232 per kilos of FOB basis up from the December Rs. 228 per kilos achieved on exports of 28 million kilos.
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