Sri Lanka Customs data released last week confirmed exports for the period January – March at 70.9m kg, down 6% on the 2012 quantity of 75.8m kg. Despite the lower quantity, Rupee earnings for the period moved up a similar percentage from Rs. 40bn in Q1 2012 to Rs. 42bn this year. The approximate US Dollar value of earnings this year converts to US$ 335m against US$ 332M last year. This is equal to an approximate FOB value per kg of US$ 4.73 against US$ 4.38 last year, Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC said, in its Weekly Tea Update.
A review of main destinations for Sri Lanka’s tea exports showed Russia/ CIS retaining its number one slot with imports of 17.5m kg, accounting for 25% of all exports from the country.
“In Q1 last year 18.6 (+6%) m kg was shipped. Iran follows with a 13% share of exports; down 11% from 10.6m kg to 9.5m kg this year. Even with its civil war, Syria absorbed 5.5m kg, but 18% lower than last year’s quantity of 6.8m kg. Turkey has picked up some of the loss with imports up 28%, from 4.2m kg in 2012 to 5.4m kg this year. Similarly the UAE has grown substantially from 2.4m kg to 4.1m kg in Q1 2013”, Asia Siyaka said in its market comment.
It added that even though the Dimbulla quality season was during Q1, it was disappointing to note that exports to important markets for these teas; namely Japan 2m kg (-20%) and Germany 1.2m kg (-22%) were lower YoY 2012.
Meanwhile, the report noted that low grown teas had met with good general demand at last week’s Colombo Tea Auction where 7.32m kg of tea were on offer.
“Stylish BOP1/OP1s were discounted marginally, whilst all others sold at firm to dearer rates”, the report mentioned.