John Keells Ltd., said last week the Sri Lankan national average stood at Rs.443.04 per kg for the month of December 2014, down by 11% compared to a year earlier.
“The biggest losses have been from the Low Grown (-13.53%) and Medium Grown (-10.31%) and High Grown (5%). The to-date (Jan-Dec) national average still however stands higher at Rs.461.86 compared to Rs.444.42 per kg during the same period last year,” John Keells said.
It expressed hope that 2015 too will be another important milestone in our quest to enhance quality of produce, productivity, profitability and sustainability of Sri Lanka’s Plantation Industry.
“Overall, Sri Lanka has had an extraordinary year with prices for “Ceylon Tea” moving on its own and seemingly out of sync with the rest of the world. Sri Lanka’s exclusive range of orthodox black teas attracted strong demand throughout the year even as some of the key markets such as Russia, Iran, Syria and Libya are in turmoil.
Additionally, the Middle East and Egypt are going through a bad patch politically and economically. Elsewhere, high supply and slow demand saw prices at the Mombasa auction in Kenya slump to a five year low.
John Keells said even though figures indicate a good year for Tea Production, the lack of predictability of distribution monthly has resulted from unstable ‘money markets’ and extreme weather.
“The unprecedented out of season heavy rains experienced had restricted supply from all elevations from time to time. However, indications are that we may witness another record breaking Sri Lanka production in 2014,” the produce broker added.