February 20, 2018 / 9:20 AM / 4 months ago

TABLE-Sri Lanka's tea output in January rises 11.9 pct y/y

    COLOMBO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's tea output in January rose 11.9
percent from a year earlier, due to favourable agro-climatic conditions and a
lower base, the state-run Tea Board said on Tuesday.
    "The climatic conditions were good and also the 2017 January production was
lower with compared to the two previous years," Sri Lanka Tea Board
Director-General S.A. Siriwardena told Reuters.
    The island nation's tea output rose 5 percent to 307.1 million kg in 2017,
recovering from a seven-year low of 292.6 million kg hit in the previous year.

    Industry officials expects production to reach 320 million kg in 2018 if
weather holds but the ban of cost-effective weedicides, disruption to regular
agricultural practices and high cost of fertilizers could impact the production
outlook.
    Tea production in 2017 was impacted by severe drought followed by flooding,
poor application of fertilisers, a government ban on pesticides, and restricted
labour.
    Tea is Sri Lanka's top agricultural export commodity and one of the main
foreign currency earners for the $81 billion economy.  
    
 Sri Lanka's tea output (kg):
                    JANUARY                      
                2018          2017                             
 
 High Grown   5,076,354    4,627,708    
 Medium Grown 3,236,241    2,795,115    
 Low Grown   15,958,377   14,263,667   
 Total       24,270,972   21,686,490   
          
 Sri Lanka tea production (mln kg):
                        Output in previous years         
        2017    2016    2015    2014    2013    2012    2011   
 
      307.08  292.57  328.96   338.0   340.2*  327.5   328.7 
  
 *  Sri Lanka's record tea production
     
 Sri Lanka Tea Revenue ($ mln):
              2016       2015      2014       2013       2012  
 
             1,269.0    1,340.5   1,628.3*   1,542.2    1,411.9
 
 Pct Chg 
  on Yr (-)   (5.3)      (17.7)     5.6        9.2       (5.3) 
 
  * Sri Lanka's tea export earnings hit a record high in 2014

 (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Shihar Aneez and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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