Tea exports hit seven year low | Daily News

Tea exports hit seven year low

Tea exports data released by Sri Lanka Customs shows shipments from January to December 2015 at 288.7 mnkg against 306.9 mnkg.

The last occasion the country exported less than 300 mnkg in a year was in 2009 following the previous year’s banking crisis and El-Nino drought that reduced supply in 2009. Similarly in 2016 tea production declined more than 40 mnkg against 2015.

With supply pressure starting Q4 2015 auction prices rose around mid-year. With tea prices up, total value of tea exports in 2016 rose to Rs. 184.7 bn against Rs. 182 bn during January to December 2015. This was inspite of quantity shipped dropping 6% to 288.7 mnkg against 306.9 mnkg the previous year.

Despite the higher Rupee earnings depreciation of the SLR played its part, as US Dollar earnings at approximately $ 1.26 bn were lower than 2015 earnings of $ 1.33 bn. Highest earnings in a calendar year was $ 1.63 bn in 2014.

Value added exports which include all tea other than shipments in Bulk form remains steady at 57% of the total. Shipments in Packets held at 47% of the total, but Tea Bag exports increased to 8% of the total compared with 7% the year before. Absoluteuantity shipped in Tea Bags was also higher at 23 m nkg compared with 22 mnkg the year before.

A review of destinations shows that the Russia and CIS cluster absorbed 53.6 mnkg against 55.9 mnkg the year before. Iran follows with direct imports of 33.9 mnkg against 30 mnkg a year ago.

Iraq 32.5 mnkg is also up YoY on the 2015 quantity of 31 mnkg. Turkey as a point of transshipment diminished in 2016 with quantities down to 27 mnkg form 33.7 mnkg a year ago. Similarly the UAE dropped from 23 to 18 mnkg.

Shipments to Libya almost entirely in packeted form increased sharply from 9.9 mnkg to 12.6 mnkg in 2016. Syria the other trouble spot was up 9% YoY 2015 to 11 mnkg to 12.1 mnkg. Of deep concern is the value of shipments to Japan that declined 8% from 8.4 mnkg to 7.7 mnkg. This is against a national export drop of 6%. China grewm marginally to 7.6 mnkg from 7.4 mnkg.

This is a good performance on a lower national total. Germany follows with imports of 6.8 mnkg against 6.9 mnkg. Followed by Chile importing 6.6 mnkg compared with 6.9 mnkg the year before. U.S.A shows a welcome improvement of 20% YoY 2015 with imports of 5.2 mnkg against 4.3 in 2015. 






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