However, Sri Lanka’s tea production in the first half of the year fell by 7.4 million kilos YoY to 163.2 million kg.*, it added. But export volumes increased.
Export volumes in the review period comprised 155.5 million kg., as opposed to 150.3 million kg. in the corresponding period the previous year.
CIS continued to be the largest tea importer followed by Iran and Syria, with Iraq and Turkey being other noteworthy importers of Sri Lankan tea.
F&W further said that packeted tea with a quantity of 77.6 million kg. (as opposed to 70.8 million kg. in the previous) showed a significant increase YoY, whilst tea in bulk at 62.5 million kg. had virtually remained static (as opposed to 62.3 million kg. in the corresponding period in the previous).
However tea in bags has shown a YoY decline. Exports of tea in bags in the review period comprised 12 million kg., as opposed to 13.8 million kg. in the previous.
The majority of Sri Lanka’s tea exports in volume terms comprise packeted tea, bulk tea and tea in bags, in that order, in the two review periods, namely the first half of this year as well as in the first half of the last.
Of these three categories, tea in bags fetched the highest value, followed by packeted tea and bulk tea. Tea in bags in the review period fetched a price of Rs. 1,027.35 per kg. In the commensurate period the previous year it was Rs. 905.50.
Meanwhile packeted tea fetched Rs. 505.52 a kg. (it was Rs. 486.04 in the last) and bulk tea Rs. 478.61 (Rs. 455.03 in the last).
However the highest earner category, though the quantities were small, were green tea exports, which fetched Rs. 1,125.99 a kg., as opposed to Rs. 990.88 in the previous. The fifth and last category captured in these tea export statistics was Instant Tea at Rs. 819.42 a kg., down from the previous Rs. 832.39.
Data further showed that the average price of a kg. of tea export in the first half of the year at Rs. 546.84, was more than the Rs. 522.20** fetched in the corresponding period the previous year. *Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) statistics were slightly different, those showed a volume of 161.4 million kg. produced in the first half of the year as opposed to 170.7 million kg. in the previous, a 9.3 million kg. YoY decline. **CBSL statistics showed that tea prices in the Colombo auctions in May (ie the latest of such statistics available from this source) marginally increased by 0.7% YoY to US$ 3.06 per kg.