SL Tea Reaches Record Prices At The Colombo Tea Auction
Posted 6,May

By Chehan Jayasuriya

In Local News

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Historic prices were achieved at Colombo Tea Auction’s Sale no.16 held on 26-27 April 2022, with average prices for a kilogram of tea surpassing 1,500LKR for the first time in its 127-year history.

The average price of a kilogram of tea sold at Sale No.16 at the Colombo Tea Auction was 1,512.8LKR, a 142.3 LKR or 10.3% increase over the price reported at the previous auction (Sale No.15), where the price was 1,370.5LKR.

Speaking to The Morning Business, Chairman of the Colombo Tea Traders Association (CTTA) Jayantha Karunaratne said, “We have achieved a record average price at the Colombo Tea Auction, where it has never reached these Rs. 1,500 per kg price levels of tea. Increased demand, Sri Lankan Rupee depreciation, and shortage of tea have played a part in reaching these record price levels.”

He pointed out that the average price of a kilogram of tea at the beginning of the tear was 662LKR, thus depicting a 140% increase in average tea prices during 2022.

The Colombo Tea Auction is conducted by the CTTA and is globally known for maintaining the highest average price for tea compared to all other global tea auction centers. The Colombo Tea Auction has been conducted over an online platform since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sri Lanka Tea Exporters’ Association stated that due to internal and external issues such as low tea crops, high cost of production, fuel issues, sanctions on Russia, high freight rates, etc., a tea crop of around 65 million kg was expected in Q1, a 10% drop compared to last year.

The hike in Ceylon Tea prices is expected to offset revenue losses caused by the declining revenue of tea following the fertilizer crisis of 2021.

The Association said that although the tea planting season had begun with the onset of rain, fertilizer was not available in sufficient quantities for tea growers. Further, the fertilizer price had increased almost fourfold, rendering it unaffordable for many tea producers.