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Colombo Tea Auction prices remain stable despite conflict between Russia and Ukraine

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‘A degree of uncertainty and volatility in the future would no doubt be a concern’

Amidst the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the sanctions imposed on Russian banks, the Colombo Tea Auction prices largely remain unchanged, according to Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers.

“Perhaps a degree of uncertainty and volatility in the future would no doubt be a concern for the Sri Lankan tea sector considering the ‘Ceylon Tea’ presence in both these markets. Undoubtedly trading conditions are likely to be strained and additional war risk surcharges would further escalate the high logistics rates, which have already adversely impacted on tea prices,” they said.

Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers further said, “Total Auction offerings declined sharply and totalled 4.98 M/Kgs from the 6.0 M/Kgs on offer the previous week. Ex-Estate offerings comprised of 0.81 M/Kgs, down from a 0.98 M/Kgs the previous week.

Overall quality of teas from the Western planting districts showed a decline with fewer seasonal teas on offer. Consequently, prices for the better Westerns’ declined by Rs. 20-30 per kg and more with the exception of the few available seasonal teas which continued to sell in keeping with quality. In the Below Best category, BOP/BOPF’s declined Rs. 20-40 per kg and Rs. 20 per kg respectively. Plainer BOP’s declined Rs. 10-20 per kg, whilst the corresponding BOPF’s sold around last week’s levels. Nuwara Eliyas’ – the limited availability of BOP/BOPF invoices sold around last week’s levels, whilst the Uva/Uda Pussellawa prices mostly remain unchanged.

High and Medium Grown CTC teas continued to witness a bearish sentiment, whilst the Low Growns which have been selling at premium levels for a period of time declined fairly sharply by Rs. 30-60 per kg.

Low Growns comprised of 1.9 M/Kgs in the Leafy/Semi Leafy and Tippy catalogues. There was fair demand.

In the Leafy and Semi Leafy catalogues, Select Best BOP1/OP1’s together with clean Below Best varieties maintained, whilst the others were barely steady. Well-made OP/OPA’s were firm to marginally easier following quality, whilst the others in the Below Best category and poorer sorts were barely steady. A range of well-made PEK/ PEK1’s were fully firm to selectively dearer, while the others and poorer sorts maintained.

In the Tippy catalogues, select Best FBOP/ FF1’s were firm to marginally easier, whilst the Best together with cleaner Below Best sold around last levels. Balance declined following quality.

In the Premium catalogues, Very Tippy teas continued to attract good demand. Best together with cleaner Below Best were firm, whilst the balance were irregular following quality.

National tea sales average for the month of February 2022 recorded Rs. 725.63 (USD 3.61), thus establishing the highest ever recorded average for a calendar month surpassing the previous best of Rs. 704.67 (USD 3.56) recorded in the month of January 2022. In comparison to the February 2021 average of Rs. 645.95 (USD 3.35), shows a significant increase of Rs. 79.68 YOY.

When analysing the respective elevational averages for the month of February 2022 – Highest ever High Grown average for the month of February of Rs. 696.48 (USD 3.47) recorded an increase of Rs. 15.92 month on month vis-à-vis Rs. 680.56 (USD 3.39) of January 2022. When compared to the February 2021 average of Rs. 611.83 (USD 3.17), a significant increase of Rs. 84.65 is recorded YOY.

Highest ever Medium Grown average for a calendar month totalling Rs. 645.08 (USD 3.21) for February 2022 recorded an increase of Rs. 18.35 month on month vis-à-vis the previous highest of Rs. 626.73 (USD 3.12) of January 2022. When compared to February 2021 average of Rs. 579.78 (USD3.01), shows a significant increase of Rs. 65.30 YOY.

Low Growns too recorded the Highest ever average of Rs. 759.45 (USD 3.78) in February 2022 surpassing the previous best of Rs. 744.52 (USD 4.01) recorded in May 2020. It records an increase of Rs. 25.76 month on month and Rs. 85.34 YOY respectively.



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CSE Director Board appoints new chairman

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The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.

The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”

Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”

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SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka

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As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.

Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.

Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”

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Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura

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Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.

The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.

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