ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan tea prices hit a new high in 2016 at the Colombo auctions with most of the gains coming towards the year end as bad weather reduced crops, brokers said.
Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said auction average prices of teas in the high and mid-grown elevations rose to their highest level although low growns which make up the bulk of the crop, did not fare that well.
Auction averages for the January – December 2016 period totalled Rs468.61 a kilo, the highest average for a calendar year with the previous best being Rs461.86 achieved in 2014,
Last year’s highs also reflects a gain of Rs66.30 over the average of Rs402.31 a kilo in the January –December 2015 period.
“Another noteworthy feature is that High and Mid Growns too have recorded the highest ever averages for a calendar year,” Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said.
The High Grown tea average annual price was Rs449.85 in 2016, improving on the previous best of Rs420.36 realized during January-December 2014, and showing a gain of Rs61.47 vis–a-vis Rs388.38 of January – December 2015.
The Medium Grown average price was Rs419.59 in 2016 with the previous best being Rs410.06 recorded in 2014, and showing a gain of Rs57.02 vis-à-vis the average price of Rs362.57 of January-December 2015.
The average price of Low Growns was Rs486.74 for January-December 2016, a gain Rs70.42 over the average of Rs416.32 in 2015.
However, the 2016 tea prices in US dollar terms were below the highs of 2014 although showing a significant gain compared to 2015 averages, the brokers said.
The Sri Lankan rupee fell 3.9 percent in 2016.
(COLOMBO, Jan 14, 2016)