Tea Exports Hit Rs. 123 Bn
The Sunday Leader
Tea export earnings in the first eight months of the year increased by Rs. 10.6 billion year on year (YoY) to Rs. 123.1 billion, Forbes & Walker (F&W) in a report said.
Export volumes in the review period increased by 1.7 million kilos YoY to 205.7 million kg.
Kenya, one of Sri Lanka’s competitors, in the first seven months of the year increased its export volumes by 52 million kg. YoY to 293 million kg., F&W said.
In the same period Kenya’s tea export earnings increased by Rs. 18 billion* to Rs. 109.7 billion.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s tea export earnings in August increased by Rs. 6.2 billion to Rs. 18.8 billion YoY.
Likewise tea export volumes increased appreciably by 9.5 million kg. YoY to 31.4 million kg.
The average tea price in the first eight months of the year increased by Rs. 47.10 to Rs. 599.45 per kg. in FOB terms, it said.
The highest price fetched was for green tea exports, which export quantity in the eight month review period comprised a mere 3.3 million kg. The average price fetched for green tea exports was Rs. 1,336.46 per kg. (FOB).
The next highest export price was for tea exports in bags. That comprised a total of 16.6 million kg. “Tea in bags” fetched an average export price of Rs. 1,070.28 per kg. FOB. It was followed by “instant tea” with a price of Rs. 999.42 per kg. (FOB) and a quantity of a mere 1.1 million kg. exported in the review period.
Those were followed by “tea in packets” and “tea in bulk” which in price terms comprised the fourth and fifth highest prices fetched for the five categories of teas exported from Sri Lanka, while in volume terms they comprised the first and second highest respectively.
“Tea in packets” fetched an average FOB export price of Rs. 549.93 a kg., while “tea in bulk” an average FOB price of Rs. 531.65 per kg. Their export volumes were: “Tea in packets” (101.7 million kg.) and “tea in bulk” (83 million kg.).
The average price of tea in August increased by Rs. 22.83 to Rs. 598.76 per kg. in FOB terms.
“Tea in bulk”, the lowest export earner, led the pack in August with 10.1 million kg. and an average export price of Rs. 493.68 per kg. FOB. It was followed by “tea in packets” with 9.5 million kg. and a price of Rs. 524.83 per kg. FOB.
The highest value added earner was “green tea” with an average export price of Rs. 1,211.94 a kg. FOB. But its export volumes in August comprised a mere 350,321 kg. It was followed by “tea in bags” with a price of Rs. 1,134.40 per kg. FOB and an export volume of 1.9 million kg., while the third highest was “instant tea” with a price of Rs. 933.14 per kg. FOB, but with an export volume of an insignificant 28,833 kg.
Tea production, excluding CTCs in the first eight months of the year increased by 8.41 million kg. YoY to 215.1 million kg., F&W further said.
All elevations showed a YoY growth, with Low Growns showing the biggest gain, it said.
Low Grown production increased by 5.79 million kg. (4.44%) YoY to 136.3 million kg.
Meanwhile tea production in August was up by 0.71 million kg. YoY to 26.5 million kg.
While High and Medium Growns had shown a marginal decline YoY, Low Growns had shown an increase, the report said.
In related developments, CTC production in the first eight months of the year marginally declined by 0.2 million kg. YoY to 14.6 million kg., F&W said. While High and Medium Growns had shown a marginal gain, Low Growns had shown a decline, it said.
CTC production in August at 1.8 million kg. too showed a 0.3 million kg. YoY decline, the report said. August 2013 production in respect of all elevations showed a YoY decline, it added.
*On the basis that one Kenyan shilling was equivalent to Rs. 1.52 as at October 2, according to the internet.