- The Invisible
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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka tea prices mixed as industry expects Russia winter buying to slightly boost the market, with the cheaper High Growns seeing gains this week, though premium Low Growns saw weaker demand, brokers said.
Sri Lanka sold 5.5 million kilograms of tea, selling 0.7 million kilograms in Ex-Estate teas (teas sold while in the factory itself to retain quality) while selling 2.5 million kilograms in Low Grown (Leafy/Tippy) teas.
Sri Lanka sold 5.86 million kilograms of tea in the auction held in the previous week.
Russia’s winter buying which usually starts early October and goes up to mid November on both high and low grown teas is anticipated to boost the market in the coming weeks, brokers said.
Sri Lanka tea exports to Iran is still hit while brokers said that small-leaf teas continue to suffer as the county looses out on the money coming in from Iran.
This week’s market was predominantly dull with moderate levels of unsold teas in the auction, brokers said.
Last week the Low Grown tea sale average was 665.40 rupees up by 5.72 rupees from a week earlier.
This week a few Best BOPF teas were generally firm, a report by Ceylon Tea Brokers said.
Select Best BOP’s together with cleaner Below Best were firm while others were irregular following low quality.
High priced OP teas were irregular and mostly lower while all others gained, barring the stalky varieties at the lower end which eased.
Select best OPA’s eased whereas other teas were firm.
Select Best FBOP’s were irregular. Best were firm to marginally easier. However, cleaner Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom maintained steady prices. Others remained irregular following quality.
FBOP1’s in general were firm.
Last week, the High Grown auction average was tea sale average of 562.89 rupees.
This week BOP Best Westerns, where quality was maintained, gained 20-40 rupees per kilogram, while the others gained to a lesser extent.
In the Below Best category a selection of teas gained 20-30 rupees per kilogram and more following special inquiry, whilst the others were firm and dearer to a lesser extent.
Clean leaf BOP teas at the lower end gained 30-40 rupees a kilogram while the others were firm and made gains to a lesser extent.
BOP Nuwara Eliyas saw very low offerings.
Uda Pussellawas were 20-30 rupees up and Uvas gained 30-40 rupees a kilogram.
In BOPF grades, Best Westerns with good quality gained 20 rupees a kilogram and the others were irregular following quality. Teas in the Below Best category were irregular following quality. At the lower end, clean leaf sorts were firm and 10-20 rupees up, whilst the others were irregular.
BOPF Nuwara Eliyasnext to no offerings.
Uda Pussellawas were up by 20-30 rupees a kilogram. A few select invoices of Uva’s gained substantially, while the others were irregular.
Last week, the Medium Grown auction average was 534.80 rupees up 1.97 rupees from a week before.
This week well-made OP/OPA’s were firm. Others together with teas at the lower end declined 10-20 rupees a kilogram.
BOP teas were irregular, and clean leaf coloury BOPF teas gained 20 rupees a kilogram and more, whilst the others were irregular and lower.
Select Best FBOPs were firm, whilst others too marginally eased.
Well-made FF1’s were firm on last whilst the others gained marginally.
High grown BP1s were irregular while a few select PF1s with bright liquoring invoices gained and others were irregular and barely steady.
Mid grown BP1s sold around last week’s levels while clean leaf brighter PF1s were firm, while the others were up to 20 rupees lower.
Low grown BP1s continued to sell well. PF1s which commenced around last week’s closing levels, advanced a further up by 20-30 a kilogram by the close of the auction.
According to the Department of Meteorology, showers are expected in the week ahead.
The Department of Meteorology predicted isolated showers in the Western Region and heavy showers in the Nuwara Eliya Region in the week ahead.
The Western and Nuwara Eliya regions experienced dull and rainy weather throughout the week.
The Udapussellawa Region experienced dull and rainy weather, whilst the Uva Region reported bright weather with occasional evening showers during the week.
The Low Grown Region reported dull and rainy weather throughout the week.
The Western and Nuwara Eliya regions maintained the crop intake, and the Uva, Udapussellawa and a few selected subdistricts in the Western Region showed a decrease in intake.
Sri Lanka Tea Production for the month of August 2020 amounted to 22.42 million kilograms falling 14 percent from 26.20 million kilograms in 2019.
The dwindling numbers of estate workforce due to plantation worker’s youth transitioning into other industries and mechanization is considered a major issue by the commercial planters.
The companies want a wage model based on productivity.
Planters also said that a ban on Glyphosate, was affecting crops and the government has failed to approve a substitute accepted internationally, in the recently held Planters’ Association AGM.
Brokers said that tea prices come down in most cases when quality is compromised. (Colombo/Sep27/2020)