ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tea exports were down 25.49 percent in November 2022 from a year earlier to 19.3 million kilograms, but rupee earnings were up 61 percent to 14.6 billion rupees, amid higher prices and rupee depreciation, industry data showed.
November tea exports were valued at 105.6 million US dollars, at an free on board price of 5.48 dollars a kilogram, down from 117.6 million US dollars a year ago, when the FOB price was 4.55 US dollars a kilogram, according to data from Ceylon Tea Brokers.
In the 11 months to November 2022, tea export earnings were 1,166 million US dollars, (5.05 dollars a kilo) down from 1,214 million US dollars last year (4.64 dollars a kilo).
Sri Lanka’s tea export price hit a record 5,72 dollars a kilogram in October (2,077 rupees) and has fallen to 5.48 dollars (1,992 rupees) in November.
Sri Lanka’s rupee collapsed from 200 to 360 to the US dollars after economic bureaucrats printed money for two years and botched a float with a surrender requirements.
Sri Lanka’s central bank using its central bank independence had for decades printed money to suppress rates and busted the currency from 4.70 to 370 to the US dollars since the central bank was set up.
Global commodity prices rose steadily in 2021 and up to mid 2022 amid US money printing, but the Federal Reserve started to tighten policy from March.
Most food commodity prices, are down from mid-2022 highs in US dollar terms. Tea prices tend to lag Fed commodity prices, compared to others like coffee which has active forward markets.
In November Sri Lanka exported 8.6 million kilogram in bulk form down from 10.09 million last year.
Tea in packets were 8.3 million kilos, down from 12.86 million last year.
Tea in bags were 1.7 million kilos, down from 2.2 million last year.
Instant tea was 266,961 kilos up from 248.1 million dollars last year.
Green tea exports were 318,242 kilos, down from 407,127 kilos last year.
Sri Lanka’s tea production is down in 2022 after ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa banned agro chemicals on the advice of Sri Lanka’s Government Medical Association whose President said ancient Sri Lankans lived for 120 years when agro-chemicals were not in use. (Colombo/Dec18/2022)