Sri Lankan tea severe yield decline


Sri Lanka’s tea industry is going through tumultuous times in terms of production, with crop levels plunging to near three-decade low.

The August crop of 18.27 million kilos is the lowest in 28 years and the first eight months production at 171.37 million kilos is lowest since 1996, the Daily FT newspaper on Saturday quoted the Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers as saying.

It said the August 2022 crop was a decline of 5.6 million kilos or 23 per cent year on year and all elevations have shown a decline over the corresponding month of 2021. “This is the lowest recorded for August in a calendar year since 1994 where it recorded 16.20 million kilos,” Forbes and Walker added.

When compared with the 22.45 million kilos of August 2020, the latest crop is down by 4.18 million kilos or 18 per cent, the daily reported.

The January-August 2022 crop reflects a significant decrease of 40.60 million kilos from the corresponding period of last year.

“This would be the lowest recorded for the period under review since 1996 where it recorded 169.7 million kilos,” Forbes and Walker said. It added that on a cumulative basis too, all elevations have shown a decline over the corresponding period of 2021.

The sharp drop in production, however, has helped to boost prices of tea sold via the Colombo auctions, the newspaper reported. Value for Ceylon tea continues to soar with August recording the highest ever Free on Board (FOB) both in dollars and rupees.


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