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Sri Lanka To The Top Of The World Tea Market 
Posted 30,July

By Chaveendra Dunuwille

In Local News

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Sri Lanka’s tea under the moniker of ‘Ceylon Tea’, the name given to the island nation by the British is considered the most premium quality tea in the world. With its unique blend of flavours and unorthodox attributes it has managed to capture the hearts of millions across the globe. 

According to Asia Siyaka Commondities PLC Sri Lanka’s Free On Board (FOB) the price for black tea is the highest in world. Sri Lanka accounts for a whopping 55% of the world’s black tea exports while India distantly follows in second place by accounting for 10%. While the International Tea Committee does not have data to determine Kenya’s exports, other studies on the matter suggest that it follows behind India in 3rd place. 

With a drought and reduced application of fertilizer, the export quality of tea sharply dropped in the 1st quarter and the 4th quarter of 2019 as well as 2020. 

As of June 2021 Sri Lanka has exported over 137 million kilograms of tea, 124 million kilograms were sold within the first half of 2020. The revenue has increased from $571 million the previous year to $651 milliom with tea packets, tea bags, instant tea and green tea being considered as the primary contributors to the value addition while speciality bulk blend has not contributed to the same. 

In the Colombo Tea Auction the value of one kilogram of Ceylon tea in 2020 was $4.67, a slight increase from $4.61 the previous year. The June 2021 average FOB value was at $4.75. 

According to Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC Turkey remains as the prime destination of Ceylon tea with 38.8 million kilos being exported for the avg. FOB of $4.29. Iraq takes second place with an average FOB of $3.10. Sri Lanka exported 29.6, 15.1 and 14.1 million kilos of tea to Russia, Iran and China for the average FOB’s of $4.45, $4.93 and $4.07 respectively. It was noted that China was the fastest growing market for Ceylon Tea. 

Countries that exceeded the average FOB value per kilo include,