Tea export earnings increased by 16.1% to US$ 1,375 million last year due to both increased volumes and high prices.
Ceylon tea continued to fetch the highest prices in the major auction centres of the world last year mainly due to the fine quality of Ceylon tea and the high international demand for orthodox tea. Average tea export price rose by 7% to US$ 4.38 per kg in 2010. There was a shortage of black tea in the international market due to drought conditions and high local consumption in other major tea producing countries. However, in Sri Lanka, tea production surpassed historically high levels in 2010 owing to overall good weather, timely fertiliser application and good agricultural practices. As a result, tea export volume increased by 8.5% to 314 million kg in 2010. Sri Lanka remained the third largest tea exporter in the world after Kenya and China. Middle Eastern countries and the Commonwealth of Independent
States continued to be major destinations for Ceylon tea exports in 2010. To encourage high value added tea exports, government increased the Cess on bulk tea to Rs.10 per kg with effect from November 23, 2010 (Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s 2010 Annual Report).
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