John Keells PLC releases Annual Tea Review for 2007
John Keells PLC, the tea brokering subsidiary of John Keells Holdings
PLC, released its annual issue of the Tea Review for 2007 and handed
over the first copy of the report to Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board
The John Keells PLC Tea Review 2007 being handed over to the
chairman Sri Lanka Tea Board Lallith Hettiarachchi by Chief
Executive Officer, John Keells PLC Sudath Munasinghe. Head of
Operations, John Keells PLC - Romesh Walpola and Manager - Tea,
John Keells PLC Hishantha de Mel look on.
While discussing the impact of the global economy on the tea
industry, it also shows a comprehensive account of the market, global
and local tea production and exports.
According to the report, the unrest experienced on the plantations in
the first quarter of the year and insufficient use of fertiliser caused
Sri Lanka tea production to decline by 2 per cent in 2007 in comparison
to the previous year.
With a stringent approach by newcomers Kenya and China, Sri Lanka is
compelled to compete on price instead of quality as the supply exceeds
demand with higher cost of production and middlemen margins.
As China established to the world that effective production is not a
result of the use of agro chemicals, micro-organisms and other hazardous
components, the report states that many factories in Sri Lanka are
implementing pre-harvest and harvesting practices to ensure it is free
of pesticide residues.
According to figures released in the report, global tea production
for the year 2007 was 3,727 Mkgs, showing an increase of 175 Mkgs from
2006. Kenya was the main contributor with an increase of almost 60 Mkgs
over the previous year with China, too, increasing its production by 70
World Tea Exports marked 1,565 Mkgs, reducing 20 Mkgs from 2006 out
of which Kenya was the main contributor with 346 Mkgs and Sri Lanka
proudly coming in second with 312 Mkgs along with heavy competition from
China, India, Vietnam and Argentina.
The review states that CIS and UAE maintained their positions as the
two largest export markets, whilst Iran overpowered Syria and
established themselves as the third largest export destination for Sri
Despite all these negativities, the latest report of the
intergovernmental tea group under the FAO predicts a 4 per cent increase
in the prices of tea in the next twelve months, continuing the trend of
increase in 2007 of 6.5 per cent and the 11.6 per cent registered in