Sri Lanka’s tea bag exports record recovery in June
Sri Lanka has recorded a recovery in tea bag exports in the month of June, though overall shipments a year earlier and during the first half were down, local media reports stated.
Asia Siyaka Commodities, quoting data of Sri Lanka Customs, has stated that Sri Lanka had exported 2.19 million kg of tea bags in June. Exports of tea in this value-added form had declined to 0.94 million kg during the shutdown period in April and picked up to 1.55 million kg in May. The June quantity of 2.19 million kg is also higher than the previous year’s monthly figure of 1.89 million kg.
The Daily FT has noted that Asia Siyaka has said total exports in June were 23.6 million kg, marginally lower than 24.1 million kg shipped a year earlier, but above the May figure of 22.6 million kg.
Total exports in the first half of 2020 were 124 million kg, trailing the previous year’s quantity of 145 million kg. “This year’s exports were impacted negatively by poor Q1 tea production with the cumulative YoY shortfall to June reaching 29.8 million kg,” Asia Siyaka has stated.
Earnings from tea exports were Rs. 106 billion down 13% from the first half of last year. This converts to an approximate US$ 571 million compared with US$ 686 million in 2019 and 1H figure of US$ 728 million in 2018.
Asia Siyaka has noted that Iraq is the main destination, with absorption of 16.2 million kg down from 19.6 million kg a year ago. Turkey follows at 15.7 million kg against 18.1 million kg last year. Exports to Russia had picked up in June to reach 14.4 million kg; marginally lower than 14.9 million kg the year before.Chile had risen sharply to 4.6 million kg from 2.5 million kg a year ago and is followed by Syria 3.5 million kg.Saudi Arabia, a high value market, had increased imports of Ceylon Tea to 3.4 million kg from 3.1 million kg in 2019.UAE had bought 3.3 million kg, Libya 3.2 million kg and Germany 3 million kg are the other major importing markets.
Sri Lanka’s tea bag exports that recorded a slump in the past few months due to the global Covid 19 pandemic are now on the path to recovery. Covid 19 has also increased the sale of tea due to medical recommendation that consuming got tea could help prevent the spread of the virus. Sri Lankan authorities are also looking at promoting the tea industry as well as provide incentives to further develop the sector. Foreign businesses/investors looking at opportunities in Sri Lanka could explore business/investment opportunities the country’s tea industry.
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