Supplier chain performing well:
Bigger demand, better price for Sri Lankan tea
There was a shortage in the supply of tea due to the global recession
during the latter part of last year in the country and there was also a
significant drop in demand as well in the industry in the past few
Tea consumption in Sri Lanka continues
to enjoy undiminished popularity. Here a retailer examines
the tea at a wholesale outlet in Pettah before purchasing
it. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
However, today the supplier chain is performing well and there is an
increase in demand as well as price for Sri Lankan tea in the
international market,” said Chairman, Tea Export Association, Rohan
“Tea has become a basic human need and it is an essential product for
people’s day-to-day life. Sometimes there are fluctuations in demand as
well as supply due to economic instability.
Due to the economic recession, the effect on the industry is very low
compared with other industries in the country.”
“There’s always a silver lining in every dark cloud. Due to the world
economic crisis most of the top competitors in the market could not
survive. Therefore, there are many opportunities for countries such as
Sri Lanka in the market,” he added.
“Before the economic downturn around the globe, we produced 7,000 to
8,000 Kgs per week for export from the total production of tea, he said.
However, during the past four weeks it dropped to 4,000 to 5,000 Kgs
per week. Therefore, the main reason for the price increase for Sri
Lankan tea in the international market can be the higher demand,” said
Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Lalith Hettiarachchi.
“Even during times of recession, we maintained the same level of good
quality tea. This can be one of the main reasons that Sri Lankan tea
industry is well established in the international tea market.
“The highest volumes of tea production in the country are purchased
by Russian and Middle East countries and there are many value added
products available in the international market as well as local market
such as packeted tea, flavoured tea, branded tea and green tea.
Three years ago of the total volume of exported tea, 30 percent was
value addition tea and 70 percent bulk tea. Today we have increased
these percentages - 42 percent value addition tea and 58 percent bulk
tea. This is also one of the main advantages to sustain in the
business,” he added.