Tuesday, February 2, 2010


By Steve . A . Morrell                                                                    See report on Plantation

The Sri Lanka Tea Board through their recent announcement said December Tea crop shows distinct improvement month comparison December 2008. We called Tea Board Chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi who said there were attributable phenomena that more or less influenced this salutary situation."Last year if you remember, we were in the thick of the global financial crisis that distinctly affected us as well. Fallout of that disaster had ill effects on the industry here," he said.

Intense dislocation to normal routine emerged. Domino effect to the entire industry, in the ‘Ceylon Tea’ context, became woefully inescapable and consequential fall back became the order of the day. Ill-effects compounded with financial strangulation steadily increasing stultifying any hope for resurgence of the industry - controlled by global influences.

December crop upsurge therefore was good allround, said President / CEO, Asia Siyaka Tea Brokers Ltd, Anil Cooke, who also confirmed money did not circulate last year because of the financial crunch. Fall down crisis of that debacle registered tragedy across the industry here. So much so that, the Tea Factory Owners Association, who usually maintain low profile, they too hit panic buttons at the time, to inveigle the Government to rescue them from that grim predicament. Our editions carried their desultory views on the subject.

Nonetheless, with evenness in global money supplies and normality being progressively restored, the industry here did see resurgence eventually resulting in an appreciably ‘Christmassy’ December. Views expressed by the Chairman Tea Board. Not ad verbatim, but more or less so.

Crop figures indicated by the Tea Board, were that increases were recorded in all elevations with low grown properties leading the table with an increase of about 4.5 million kg. Lowest contributors were high growns; who recorded crop returns of some 700,000 kg.

All indicators are that things were picking up and as Lalith Hettiarachchi said we could expect quite a successful year. Crops are expected to top 300 million this year he said.

Anil Cooke too confirmed the industry was back on track. On -set of Western quality was an additional bonus for predicted good returns.

December comparison was 25.1 million 2009, and crop intakes December 2008, was 19.4 million. ‘So; things seem OK’, quotes we think are appropriate.

Further comparisons are that Orthodox black tea increased from 17.9 million. to 23.8 million 2009. CTC teas were down some 200,000, kilos, but green tea increased to 158.7 thousand kilos.

Best year on record was 2008, at 318.6 million. As already recorded, 2009, a year best forgotten, was 289.7 million kilos.

source - www.island.lk

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