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« on: September 13, 2010, 02:30:51 AM »

Tea prices on the up
29 August 2010
By Steve A. Morrell


Tea brokers said last week’s auction fetched good prices with Uva grade teas continuing to fetch healthy prices. They said prices could improve this week as well.

Aislaby Plantations in the Malwatte Valley maintained its leader slot last week too, selling a line of BOP at Rs. 600 per kilo but brokers said its true potential was yet to be seen. Most tea holdings in the Malwatte Valley returned good prices. "But those fancy prices that was more the character of this area was yet to be realized," brokers said.

 

Although prices were moving up plantation sources were yet to acknowledge the viability of their holdings. There are three plantation companies that are now above the blue income line and are doing well. Regional Plantation Companies Watawala Plantations Ltd., Bogowantala, and Talawakelle Plantations, are those doing well.

The Asia Siyaka Weekly Tea Market Report reported that, black tea had strong anti oxidant properties to stall lung damage consequent to bad effects of smoking.

Similarly, a report from Ceylon Tea Brokers Ltd. quoting a randomized study conducted in Taiwan said green tea could modify ill effects of smoking on lung cancer risks. They said surveys involving about 380 respondents proveded positive counter effects of those treated who drank Green Tea.

We on our part too sought views from the ‘private’ plantation sector, who simply said ‘Tea is tea green or black or what ever. Drink it, its good for you’.

This week, the quantity on sale at the auction would be about 6.7 million kilos. Brokers are confident prices would improve further.

The Research report from Asia Siyaka Brokers Ltd. presented graphic analysis of major beverages. Coffee volumes dipped in August 2009, but since then overtaken tea and is now placed 1st in the beverages demand scale. Coffee is now approximately US$ 450 cents per Kilo. Tea is languishing at around US$ 350 cents per kilo. Cocoa, comparatively the lowest selling beverage at this time, recorded selling at around US$ 300 cents.

Meanwhile, apart from Bangladesh and North India, all countries including Sri Lanka have recorded strong growth in crops as compared with last year, with brokers saying, ‘Last year should best be forgotten’.

The collective agreement and demands for higher wages will be an issue for the tea industry and the estate sector early next year. Whether it is to be another confrontation episode or not is yet to be seen.

Source: Theisland.lk http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=5481
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