February tea output up 14%

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 00:21 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s tea output in February rose 14% from a year earlier due to favourable weather and a lower base last year, the state-run Tea Board said on 12 March.

Production in the first two months of the year rose 14.1% from the same period last year.

“Good agro-climatic conditions are the reason for the increased production,” Sri Lanka Tea Board Director General S. A. Siriwardena told Reuters.

The island nation’s tea output rose 5% to 307.1 million kilograms last year, recovering from a seven-year low of 292.6 million kilograms hit in the previous year.

Industry officials expect production to reach 320 million kilograms in 2018 if the weather holds, but a ban of cost-effective weedicides, disruption to regular agricultural practices and the high cost of fertilisers could impact the production outlook.

Tea production in 2017 was impacted by severe drought followed by flooding, the poor application of fertilisers, a government ban on pesticides and restricted labour.

Tea is Sri Lanka›s top agricultural export commodity and one of the main foreign currency earners for the $81 billion economy.