Sri Lanka’s tea export earnings in the first half have increased by 14% to $ 650 million on the back of a 10% rise in quantity shipped, to 137 million kilos, in comparison to the corresponding period of last year.
The average price of tea (in the Colombo auction) decreased to US dollars 3.06 per kg in May 2021 from US dollars 3.75 per kg in May 2020, Central Bank recent data showed.
Despite the marginal decline in average export prices, earnings from tea exports increased notably in May 2021 over April 2021 due to higher export volumes.
Tea export earnings recorded a marginal increase to US$ 109.2 million in May 2021 compared $108.3 million during the same period last year, CB external sector performance report revealed
According to Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC Research, 2021 first half quantity was boosted by a strong June (26.9 million kilos), which is at a five-year high.
It also said the January-June quantity of 136.9 million kilos, though well above last year, is much lower than the 2019 1H figure of 145 million kilos and 137.5 million kilos the year before.
Asia Siyaka said the last occasion Sri Lanka reached an annual export quantity in excess of 300 million kilos was in 2015 when annual tea exports reached 306.9 million kilos.
The midway quantity in 2015 was however 151 million kilos, which is 15 million kilos more than this year’s quantity for January-June.It, said rupee earnings, rose sharply by 20% to Rs. 127 billion.
This converts to approximately $ 650 million – 13.8% more than January-June earnings of $ 571 million last year. In the three years prior to that, 1H earnings were $ 686 million, $ 728.9 million and $ 728.4 million.
Shipments to Turkey topped the destination list at 17 million kilos, up 8% from a year earlier. Iraq followed at 16 million kilos showing little change. Russia continues to decline to 13.3 million kilos against 14.4 million.
Export through the UAE has more than doubled from 3.3 to 10.2 million kilos this year. Asia Siyaka said China continues to rise and recorded a 47% gain from last year’s high figure of 5 million kilos, to 7.4 million kilos this year.
Iran has declined sharply to 6.3 million from 8.9 million kilos. Azerbaijan (6.1 million kilos), Libya (5.6 million kilos) and Syria (4.1 million kilos) are all up YoY 2020.
Chile, the largest market in South America, has dropped from 4.6 million kilos to 3.5 million kilos. Japan showed a welcome increase to 3.1 million kilos from 2.9 million kilos last year.