- Iraq emerges as No. 1 market
- Imports by UAE up 179%, moves up to 4th position
- Purchases by Iran drop 25%
- Imports by China up 33%
The spread of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has led to a dip in tea exports for the first time in recent months, according to sources.
Tea exports declined by 2.5 million kilos year-on-year (YOY) to 25.54 million kilos in July, a development which Forbes and Walkers Tea Brokers attributed to a combination of restricted shipping and logistics and perhaps COVID-19 pandemic-related constraints
It said all main categories of exports (Bulk Tea, Tea Bags and Packeted Tea) have shown a decrease compared to July last year.
Value wise exports amounted to Rs. 23 billion, down by Rs. 1.3 billion from a year ago. Forbes said the resulting FOB value of Rs. 901.35 per kilo ($ 4.56) was an increase of Rs. 33.69 compared to Rs. 867.66 ($ 4.72) of July 2020.
“Whilst the Rupee FOB values have increased in 2021, in USD terms it reflects a lower value,” Forbes added.
Despite the dip in July thanks to improvement in previous months, the cumulative tea exports are on the up. Shipments in the first seven months of 2021 amounted to 162.52 million kilos up by 10.39 million kilos in the corresponding period of last year.
Forbes said all main categories of exports (Bulk Tea, Tea Bags and Packeted Tea) had shown an increase in 2021.
Tea export revenue within January to July 2021 rose by Rs. 20.4 billion to Rs. 150.85 billion. The total FOB value of Rs. 928.18 per kilo ($ 4.76) reflects a gain of Rs. 70.91 from the first seven months of last year.
Iraq has emerged at the No. 1 position as the major importer of Ceylon Tea, followed by Turkey and Russia with the UAE moving up to the fourth position, having increased imports significantly (179% YOY). Iran, which has moved down to sixth position from the fourth position it occupied in 2020, records a fairly significant decrease (25% YOY) in imports during January-July 2021, Forbes said.
It said other notable importers were China, Azerbaijan, Libya and Syria. Meanwhile, destinations such as Saudi Arabia and Chile have recorded a decrease in imports during the period under review. It is noteworthy that imports to China have increased significantly YOY (33%).
According to data compiled by Management Services Ltd., on behalf of the Colombo Brokers’ Association, the National Sales Average (NSA) for July 2021 totalled Rs. 591.35 per kilo ($ 2.99) up marginally by Rs. 4.84 per kilo from June 2021 but down by Rs. 19.90 from a year earlier.
In analysing the respective elevational averages – High Growns, totalling Rs. 555.26 ($ 2.81) for July 2021, was an increase of Rs. 4.82 month-on-month vis-à-vis Rs. 550.44 ($ 2.79) of June 2021. From a year ago, it was an increase of Rs. 21.58.
Mediums, averaging Rs. 521.70 ($ 2.64) for July 2021, was a decrease of Rs. 9 from June 2021 and by Rs. 2.87 from July 2020. Low Growns, totalling Rs. 626.22 ($ 3.17) for July was an increase of Rs. 6.13 from the previous month but significantly down by Rs. 42 from July last year.
The January-July 2021 cumulative national average of Rs. 623.11 ($ 3.20), reflects a marginal decrease of Rs. 2.10 (decrease of $ 0.20) as against the corresponding period of last year.
Forbes said High Growns NSA for the period January-July 2021 was Rs. 596.48 ($ 3.06) up Rs. 20.56 (decrease of $ 0.08) from a year ago. Mediums average was Rs. 557.66 ($ 2.86), reflecting an increase of Rs. 8.82 (decrease of $0.13).
However, Low Growns NSA totalling Rs. 651.57 ($ 3.34) was a decrease of Rs. 15.48 ($ 0.29) from the first seven months of 2020.