Sri Lanka’s tea exports 9.4 percent from a year ago to 17.56 million kilograms in January 2023 data showed, as plants were hit by the lagged effect of a chemical fertilizer and weedicide.
Due to a collapse of the currency from 200 to 360 to the US after a two years of money printing to suppress rates as well as global rise in commodity prices due to loose US policy, rupee earnings rose 96 percent to 17.7 billion rupees.
Export earnings were 99.56 million dollars in January 2023 up from 91.93 million US dollars a year earlier.
Turkey bought 2.35 million kilograms, becoming the top buyer of Ceylon Tea in January 2023, displacing Iraq to second place with 2.13 million kilograms (last year 3.8 million kilos), industry data released by Ceylon Tea Brokers show.
Russia came in third with 2.04 million kilos (2.56 million kilos in 2022), and UAE was fourth with 1.87 million kilos, down from 2.03 million kilos last year.
Turkey hit by a devastating earthquake in February.
Sri Lanka produced around 251 million kilos of tea in 2022 due to the lagged effect of a fertilizer ban pushed for by the Government Medical Officers Association.
Industry officials have said that tea production fell steadily after a glyphosate ban was imposed by President Maithripala Sirisena after some researchers did a paper on the subject.
Planters have said that higher levels of weeds discourage pluckers from going into the bushes, reducing crop intake, and manual weeding increases soil erosion.