Tea Output Up 11% In May
Reuters: Sri Lanka's tea output rose 11.04% in May from a year earlier, aided by good agro-climatic conditions and lower production in the previous month, the State-run Tea Board said on Monday.
Production in the first five months of the year rose 4.76% from the same period last year.
Tea output fell 15.3% in April from a year earlier, with industry officials attributing the decline to a high base effect and more public holidays this year.
"The May production is high due to several reasons, one is that the production in May is generally high and also this year we had good agro-climatic conditions and also the April production was very low," Sri Lanka Tea Board Director-General S.A. Siriwardena told Reuters.
Tea is Sri Lanka's top agricultural export and one of the main foreign currency earners for the $87 billion economy.
Earnings from tea for the first four months totalled $ 478 million, up from $ 458.2 million last year.
Sri Lanka's tea output rose 5% to 307.1 million kg last year, recovering from a seven-year low of 292.6 million kg hit in 2016.
Industry officials expect production to reach 320 million kg in 2018 if the weather holds, but a ban on cost-effective weed killers, disruption to regular agricultural practices and the high cost of fertilisers could affect the outlook for production.
Tea production in 2017 was affected by severe drought followed by flooding, the poor application of fertilisers, a Government ban on pesticides and restricted labour.
Source - www.ft.lk/front-page/Tea-output-up-11--in-May/44-657865