Tea exports close in on $1B

By Paneetha Ameresekere | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021
News Tea exports close in on $1B

By Paneetha Ameresekere

Tea export earnings in the first nine months of the year increased by 7.64 per cent (USD 70.91 million) year on year (YoY) to USD 998.94 million free on board (FoB), Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers data released on Monday (18) showed.

This growth was spurred by both an increase in export volumes and prices, with export volumes growing by 6.73 per cent (13.34 million kg)  to 211.64 million kg and the average value of prices by 0.85 per cent (USD 0.04) to USD 4.72 per kg FoB, in the review period, data showed. Tea export volumes were helped by tea production growing by 0.64 per cent (1.49 million kg) YoY to 234.43 million kg aided by better rains. 

Iraq has emerged as the No. 1 major importer of Sri Lanka Tea following an increase of 14 per cent in JanuarySeptember 2021, YoY, Forbes said. Turkey has moved down to the No. 2 position with a decline in imports (16 per cent YoY) followed by Russia. The UAE has moved up to the fourth position having increased imports significantly (181 per cent YoY), it said. 

Iran, which has moved down to fifth position, records a decrease (eight per cent YoY) in imports during JanuarySeptember 2021. Other notable importers are China, Libya, Azerbaijan and Syria, Forbes said. Meanwhile, destinations such as Saudi Arabia and Chile have recorded decreases in imports during the period under review. 

It is noteworthy that imports to China and Libya have increased significantly YoY – 19 per cent and 48 per cent respectively, it said. Tea, according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), was the island’s third largest foreign exchange earner last year, behind remittances and garment exports in that descending order. The FoB value of tea excludes the sea freight and sea insurance costs of such exports.  

By Paneetha Ameresekere | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 20 2021

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