Home » Tea exports soar while crop volume dips in the first four months of 2023

Tea exports soar while crop volume dips in the first four months of 2023

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By: Staff Writer Colombo (LNW): Despite hopes of a turnaround with fertiliser, Sri Lanka’s tea production began the year 2023 with lower crop volumes but the tea exports are increasing favourably in the the first four months of the year. The woes of the tea industry continue with January crop volumes decreasing by 3.68 million kilos (16.13%) to 19.14 million kilos against the fertiliser issue. Data analysed by Forbes and Walkers Research confirmed that the country’s tea production drop was seen at all elevation levels compared to the corresponding January 2022. Sri Lanka’s tea exports in value in the first four months of this year have increased, whilst volume dips, industry sources said. Siyaka Research said January – April earnings have increased sharply by 11% to US $ 407 million compared to $ 367 million in the same period a year earlier. In April earnings increased by 16% to $ 93 million compared to $ 80 million in April 2022. Siyaka Research said the higher earnings were possible because of the high FOB per kilo, a value which more than compensated for a 14% drop in quantities from 81.9 million kilos to 70.2 million kilos during January – April 2023. April recorded the highest ever FOB of $ 5.78 per kg, pushing the cumulative FOB figure to a record $ 5.80 per kg. “Following the rupee depreciation in 2022 earnings have shot up a massive 58% to Rs. 140 billion compared to Rs. 88 billion in 2021,” it added. Siyaka Research also said Türkiye continued to lead exports as the top market with volumes soaring by 92% to 8.7 million kilos from 4.5 million kilos in 2022. Russia has secured the second position with volumes slightly up by 6% YoY to 7.8 million kilos, while Iraq secured the third position with volumes plunging by 51% YoY from 15.3 million kilos to 7.4 million kilos in 2023. Exports to UAE have also declined by 28% YoY to 5.2 million kilos in 2023, whilst China makes up the top five destinations with volumes dropping by 15% YoY to 3.1 million kilos from 3.7 million kg in 2022. Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said the volume of tea exports in April was 16.16 million kilos, down by 2.13 million kilos from a year ago. “All Product Categories have witnessed a decline against the corresponding month of 2022,” it said. January-April 2023 cumulative exports totalled 70.25 million kilos, down by 11.74 million kilos from the corresponding period of last year. “Tea in bulk and packaged tea continue to show negative variances, whilst the remaining product categories recorded a marginal increase,” Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers added.
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