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Rupee earnings from tea from January to June this year is Rs.164.2 billion. This translates into a 28 per cent increase in earnings from tea over corresponding earnings from tea during the same period last year, which amounted to Rs. 127 billion, an Asia Siyaka (AS) tea research report said.
In US dollars, this achievement is approximately 577 million.
Iraq was the number one destination for Sri Lanka tea exports, with quantities rising sharply by 46 per cent to 23.5 Mn Kgs. Iraq was followed by the UAE, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, China, Germany and Chile. Reports did not include exports to the US. The US, as reported by us recently, was a major importer of tea from Argentina.
Prices for the extra special grades were recorded to be upwards of Rs. 10,000. per kilo. These were small quantities but impacted the general trend that made a difference to the overall price structure. All broker reports were positive on price improvement per kilo, including John Keels Holdings and Forbes and Walker (FW) tea reports.
However, it is of interest that the Tea Board has helped in the purchase of fertilizer by all tea producers. Low- cost funds were provided to purchase fertilizer for immediate application. Both smallholders and plantation companies were to benefit from this scheme which will help to improve tea production over the second half of production year 2022.
Tea industry insiders commended the Tea Board for their funding action which is expected to impact the tea industry positively. A salutary result could be a boost in production, although quick-fire results could not be expected.
Some tea holders informed us that their earnings, particularly from low grown holdings, had increased to Rs.300 per kilo for green leaf supplied to identified tea factory owners.
However, tea broker reports indicated an overall shortfall in production this year. The total production recorded to date in 2022 is 141.2 million kgs, whereas in 2021, production for the same period was 167.1 million kgs.
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