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By 2017-09-22

By Paneetha Ameresekere

Tea prices continued to be buoyed by a combination of higher prices and a weak rupee, resulting in tea export prices keeping up its momentum, with export revenue in the first eight months of the year increasing by Rs 31.7 billion (26.2%) year on year (YoY) to Rs 152.5 billion despite falling volumes, data from Forbes & Walker's (F&W's) latest Tea Report showed.

Cumulative export volumes in the review period fell by 7.2 million kilos (3.6%) to 190.1 million kgs. All main categories of exports i.e. tea bags, packets and bulk tea have shown a decrease vis-à-vis January – August 2016, F&W said.

Turkey has retained the number one position as the largest importer for the period January – August followed by Russia and Iraq. Other noteworthy importers were Iran, UAE and Libya.

China and Azerbaijan too have shown a growth YoY when compared to the same period of 2016. Meanwhile, destinations such as Syria and Kuwait have shown a significant decrease during January- August compared to the corresponding period of 2016, F&W said.

Nonetheless, cumulative production for the period January-August, totalled 206.9 million kg., a YoY increase of 7.9 million kgs (4%). Not all of the tea produced is exported. Part of it is also used for domestic consumption. There is also a time lag between tea production and exports.

Tea is Sri Lanka's fourth largest foreign exchange earner, the top three being remittances, garments and tourism in descending order.



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