Sri Lanka, one of the world’s biggest exporters of black tea, shipped less brew during the first quarter of this year, but a weak rupee helped maintain export revenues, a report said.
The commodity broker said export revenues remained flat at 40.0 billion rupees during the comparative quarters. In dollar terms, exports were 332.4 million dollars, which was 10.0 percent lower than 369.8 million dollars earned in the 2011 quarter.
“The weaker rupee has played its part as the currency depreciated from around 113.90 rupees to a dollar in January to 128.91 rupees in March,” the brokerage said.
Asia Siyaka said Russia and the CIS countries retained it top slot, with imports of 18.6 million kilos, however, shipments were four-percent lower than the first quarter of 2011.
Direct exports to Iran have gained 8.1 percent to 10.6 million kilos in 2012. Syria followed next, growing 16.0 percent to 6.0 million kilos. Shipments to Iraq rose 16.0 percent to 5.3 million kilos this year.
Sales to Turkey, fell 30.0 percent to 4.2 million kilos in the 2012 quarter. Shipments to Libya, more than doubled to 3.8 million kilos this year.
However, lower export volumes were noted from Japan (2.9 million kilos), the UAE (down 63.0 percent to 2.4 million kilos) and Kuwait (1.1 million kilos).
The brokerage said sales to Kuwait was “disappointing”, as the Arab nation imported 2.1 million kilos in the quarter of 2011 and 3.1 million kilos in the 2010 quarter. The report did not give a reason for the decline.
(Source: Lanka Business Online)