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Tea exports muster USD 1.31 Bn in 2023 increase of USD 40.98 Mn

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Iraq, Turkey and Russia continued with strong demand :
Special solar assistance loans for tea sector :
Financial assistance to meet high fertilizer prices :

The Sri Lanka tea sector has done a major rebound and is once again poised to be a major economic contributor to the country, said Chairman Sri Lanka Tea Board Niraj De Mel.

In an interview with Daily News Business he said that the Sri Lankan tea industry for the period January – December 2023 shows an increase in production whilst recording a decrease in national average and exports when compared to the same period in 2022.

Iraq, Turkey, and Russia continued with strong demand for Sri Lankan tea and were the top three importers for the period January to December 2023. Total tea production of Sri Lankan Tea for the period January to December 2023 was 256.04 Mn/Kgs, as compared to 251.50 Mn/Kgs in 2022 (+4.54 Mn/Kgs).

The total revenue realized for the period January – December 2023 from tea exports was Rs. 428.29 Bn (USD 1.31 Bn) compared with Rs. 411.09 Bn (USD 1.27 Bn) recorded for the period January to December 2022. It’s an increase in rupee terms (+Rs. 17.20 Bn) and dollar value (+USD 40.98 Mn) compared to the same period in 2022. Teas in packets and bulk showed an increase in FOB Value.

In terms of the USD equivalent, (87% of tea is exported) based on the respective weighted average exchange rates, export earnings amounted to USD 1.31 Billion in 2023.

De mel said that they expect this health trend to continue and even better results should be displayed provided there is good weather throughout the year.

He also said that some of the credit of this positive vibe should also go towards the regional plantation companies who were engaged in a massive fertilizer ‘feeding’ project to the plantations to increase. “However in contrast the smallholders could not cope up with their trend and their fertilizer usage was not very high. “This is because of high fertilizer prices which increased from around Rs. 2,000 to around Rs. 12,000 per bag. To overcome this we are providing financial assistance to them.”

At one time a fertilizer bag of 50 KG went up to around Rs. 38,000 and finally with direct imports this amount came down. “But it’s still too high.”

Asked why the rate of a kilo of green leaf supplied by tea smallholders has gone down, he said it was due to the strengthening of the rupee. “When the dollar was trading at Rs 360, tea smallholders got a high price.”

He also said that high energy cost too is causing issues for the tea sector and to cushion this The Tea Board is providing special solar assistance loans for the tea sector.

The post Tea exports muster USD 1.31 Bn in 2023 increase of USD 40.98 Mn appeared first on DailyNews.

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