Production lowest in 23 years: Tea exports down 4.56% to Rs 230.1B in 2020
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Tea export revenue fell by 4.56 per cent (Rs 10.5 billion) year-on- year (YoY) to Rs 230.1 billion last year (2020), Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said on Wednesday (20).
Commensurate with these developments, tea export volumes declined by 19.26 per cent (27.1 million kilos) to 265.5 million kgs in the review period, it said. However, FOB value, both in US dollar and in rupee terms, increased.
While the average FOB price in rupee terms increased by 5.41 per cent (Rs 44.45) to Rs 866.70 per kg YoY last year, its increase in dollar terms were marginal, at 1.95 per cent (US$ 0.09) to US$ 4.71 per kg, FOB, YoY.
Forbes further said that tea production at 278.5 million kgs last year, a YoY decrease of 7.20 per cent (21.6 million kgs), was also 23-year low. A figure lower than this last took place in 1997, Forbes said, without giving any details. Meanwhile, according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), total tea production in 1997 was 276.9 million kgs.
In other developments, the top 25 importers of Sri Lanka tea in descending order of volume purchases last year were Turkey (38,866,312 kgs), Iraq (33,377,320 kgs), Russia (29,608,373 kgs), Iran (15,127,067 kgs), China (14,123,418 kgs), Azerbaijan (10,303,102 kgs), Syria (9,536,804 kgs), Chile (9, 419,055 kgs), UAE (8,670,346 kgs), Libya (7,806, 247 kgs), Saudi Arabia (6,804,227 kgs), Germany (6,431,148 kgs), USA ( 5,707,343 kgs), Japan (5,611,525 kgs), Jordan (4,680,081 kgs), Ukraine (4,556,734 kgs), Taiwan (4,504,034 kgs), Hong Kong (3,762,717 kgs), Poland (2,978,302 kgs), Netherlands (2,896,152 kgs), Lebanon (2,574,145 kgs), Egypt (2,476, 865 kgs), Belgium (2,237,943 kgs), Ireland (2,222,640 kgs) and Israel (2,117,236 kgs), respectively. Tea, according to latest CBSL data, was Sri Lanka’s fourth largest foreign exchange earner in 2019.