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Sri Lanka’s tea exporting markets are faced with a number of issues that has contributed to an overall drop in export volumes so far this year.
Colombo Tea Traders Association (CTTA) Immediate Past President Jayantha Karunaratne told the Business Times that the markets are faced with serious issues.
Explaining further, he said with Russia under sanctions there are difficulties in making their payments. This has led to Russia now opting to use the Chinese Yuan to trade, he said since the Russian Ruble is not a convertible currency.
Iran, one of Sri Lanka’s main markets is still faced with some internal issues as a result of which government funds allocated for tea imports in limited quantities have been stopped after it was given to one buyer.
However, Mr. Karunaratne said they continue to trade with Iran and are “shipping small volumes.” Certain types of teas of Low Growns (Iran type) are being picked up at a different price range since they are now not selling due to the drop in demand.
Some of the other markets like Turkey have issues related to a depreciation of the Turkish Lira that has caused a drop in volumes.
West Asia that is expected to pick up is still not active, Mr. Karunaratne said, adding that post Ramadan volumes are again low even in this market.
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