Tea crop up 23% in June

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka’s tea production for June 2014 has yet again recorded a healthy gain of 5.8 million kilos or 23% compared to the corresponding period of 2013 This remarkable growth was recorded mainly from the High Growns that have contributed the major share with a gain of 3.1 million kilos. “If this trend were to continue, we are likely to recoup the crop deficit and match up to the all-time record achieved in 2013,” produce broker John Keells Ltd said yesterday. It said as at end June 2014, the total Sri Lanka production amounted to 172.5 million kilos as against a 174 million kilos during the corresponding period of 2013, recording a mere deficit of 0.88%. “Most of the tea growing areas in the Western sector recorded rains up to the weekend. Heavy blowing too was experienced; if this continues, it may have a detrimental effect on the intake of crop. Meanwhile, the Uva Region continues to be dry. We are beginning to see some ‘seasonal character’ in the teas from this sector,” John Keells said. Commenting on this week’s Colombo Tea auction, the broker said yesterday’s 1.27 million kilos of Ex Estate teas met with good demand, particularly for the BOPFs in the Western sector.  The BOPs on offer however, were rather irregular with a few clean leaf invoices recording price gains. There was improved demand for the clean leaf BOPFs on offer, whilst the below best and plainer varieties too were dearer, but to a lesser extent. Nuwara Eliya BOP/BOPFs continued to be a weak feature at this week’s auction. There was interest for the few bright improved BOP/BOPFs from the Uva region, whilst the others were mostly firm. Low Grown CTC PF1/BP1s maintained last week’s price levels, whilst the High and Medium types were easier following quality. The 3.6 million kilos of Low Growns that were on offer this week met with widespread demand, according to John Keells. In the leafy category, select best and the best OP1s, BOP1s, PEKOEs, OPs and OPAs advanced. “However the below best and plainer sorts declined,” it said, adding this was a clear indication of buyers following quality very closely. In the small Leafy category, the market followed a very similar trend with better teas maintaining whilst the below best and the poorer sorts declining a few rupees for the second week running. The Tippy varieties eased fairly sharply. “Russian buyers were quite active whilst Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern markets too lent useful support,” John Keells added.