ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka produced 129.04 million tonnes of tea in the first half of 2020 down 18.76 percent from a year earlier, and exported 129 million tonnes, down 14.50 percent, with Iraq, Turkey, Russia and Iran the top buyers, a tea broker said.
Sri Lanka saw production and sales disruption after a Coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 20, but the sector gradually came back to operation as the government selectively allowed economic activity to resume.
Iraq had bought 16.2 million tonnes in the first half of 2020, down from 19.6 million tonnes in 2019, Turkey 15.7 million tones down from 18.1 million tones, customs data published by Ceylon Tea Brokers showed.
Russia bought 14.4 million of Ceylon tea down from 14.9 million from an year earlier while Iran bought 8.9 million tonnes.
Other CIS countries had bought, 6.7 million tones whereas China bought 5.0 million tones and Chile 4.6 million tones.
Syra had bought 3.5 million tones of tea from Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia 3.4 million tonnes and UAE bought 3.3 million tonnes of tea.
Sri Lanka sold 56.8 million kilograms of bulk tea in the first six months of 2020 bringing in 42.7 billion rupees, down from 59.9 million kilograms (44.4 billion rupees) a year earlier.
Sri Lanka sold 54.2 million kilograms of tea in packets amounting to 43.7 billion rupees, down from 69.4 million kilograms a year earlier.
Low growns led the table with 75.4 million kilograms produced mid growns amounted to 22.7 million kilograms and high growns amounted to 30.8 million kilograms.
Total quantity of tea exported for the month of June 2020 including Re-Exports with imported Tea amounted to 23.69 million kilograms, showing a decline of 0.42 million kilograms or 1.73 percent compared to the same period last year.
Total export earnings showed an increase of 1.39 billion rupees as against the corresponding month in 2019.
Sri Lanka earned 106 billion rupees from tea exports in the first six months in 2020.
In the month of June production was 26.8 million kilograms down from 27.5 million kilograms last year.
Production for June, elevation-wise breakdown showed that 57.1 percent of tea produced was Low Growns while only 15.9 percent were Mid grown teas and 27 percent of High grown teas were produced.
Tea auction prices showed mixed trends for the last few auctions as the market now operated after a price correction triggered by pre-lockdown bulk purchases following a period of teas starvation back in April. (Colombo/July28/2020)