By Steve A. Morrell
Forbes and Walker in their weekly Tea Market Report said tea revenue, January to March 2021, showed a significant increase in revenue over the same period last year. The end figure as indicated was Rs. 65.62 billion.
The report said 2020 tea revenue for the same period was Rs. 49.23 billion, the difference in revenue being Rs. 16. 38 billion. The weakening of the rupee against the dollar was given as one reason for the buoyancy of the market. Disruptions in the Kenyan tea auctions constituted another reason.
Production results were equally satisfactory. Total production for 2021, the report said, was 74. 03 million kilos, recording gains of 20.35 million kilos. The 2020 performance for the first three months was 53. 68 million kilos.
Although all elevations recorded increase in production, outstanding results were from the low growns, recording increases of about 48 percent. Low growns predominantly comprise the smallholder sector. Around 400,000 smallholders continued their positive impact; clearly, results from this sector continued to buoy the tea industry. It is also of relevance that this sector is responsible for some 70 to 75 percent production and it is of also relevance that sustenance of the industry could be attributed in large part to the smallholder sector.
In respect of marketing Ceylon Tea at the buyer end, Turkey retained the leading position as the major importer of the brand, followed by Iraq and Russia. China too was in the importer list but was in fourth position, recording increased imports. Exports to China increased substantially and are recorded as 160 percent.
Also in the importer list were the UAE, Azerbaijan, Libya and Syria.
Additionally, Saudi Arabia, Chile and the US recorded imports, but in this instance at reduced quantities, compared to 2020. Reasons were not given for such decreases.
Reporting on elevation performances the report said coloury BOPs from the Western slopes gained Rs. 20 to Rs.30 per kilo. However, the report contained positive remarks on Western BOPF (Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings), which they said gained Rs. 20 to Rs. 50 per kilo.
Auction 15 concluded this week with 6.8 million kilos on offer. Ex Estate offerings comprised 1.0 million kilos.
Hemas Hospitals launches ‘Deewara Diri Savi’ to support fishing community
The donation programme was coordinated with the support of the Rev. Fr. Ajith Kamal, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Palliyawatta, who spearheaded the coordination on behalf of the fishing community in the Palliyawatta, Dikowita and Awarakotuwa areas.
Hemas Hospitals launches the ‘Deewara Diri Savi’ mega donation drive to support and empower the fishing community along the Western Coast of the country, whose livelihoods were gravely impacted by the marine destruction caused by the X-Press Pearl ship disaster.
Under ‘Deewara Diri Savi’, Hemas Hospitals will oversee the donation of complete dry ration packs to 818 families in the Wattala fishing community, who have now lost their sole source of income for survival and is undergoing extreme distress due to the implications caused by COVID-19 pandemic together with the fishing ban imposed due to the X-Press Pearl disaster. Further, Hemas Hospitals Wattala is also offering free OPD consultation services to these families to ensure that their wellbeing and access to healthcare is secure and continued during this period.
“Our mission, values and corporate culture guide our actions as we strive hard to deliver on the promise of making healthful living happen to communities across the nation. ‘Deewara Diri Savi’ was founded upon this ethos as we care for, uplift and empower Sri Lanka’s fishing community struggling to make ends meet due to the mass implications and destruction caused to our marine resources with the X-Press Pearl disaster. As a responsible healthcare leader, we will continue to invest our resources and take swift action in supporting this community who add so much to our economy as they transition through this deeply difficult, critical time,” Hemas Hospitals and Laboratories Managing Director and President, Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Dr. Lakith Peiris stated.
Looming challenges contribute to subdued trading activity at CSE
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Share trading activity at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was negative yesterday as investors were in a state of uncertainty due to the glaring economic woes of the country. The recent fuel price hike, the worries over possible deprivation of the European Union’s GSP Plus trade facility as well as declining foreign exchange reserves put the local and foreign investors in an indecisive mood, stock market analysts said.
The fuel price hike is likely to increase inflationary pressure especially in the manufacturing sector. This would adversely reflect on manufacturing sector counters in the stock market. Further the sovereign bond repayment amounting to US $ one billion in July 2021 with existing reserves just above US $ four billion could worsen the economic crisis to a great extent, stock market analysts said.
Reportedly the Central Bank has informed the Ministry of Finance that due to the Rs 600 billion in loans to the Petroleum Corporation there is risk to the entire banking system being destabilized and collapsing, In such a context, the banking sector counters did not perform positively yesterday, stock market analysts said. The CPC itself has about Rs 390 billion in accumulated losses.
Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index was down by 28.02 points and S&P SL20 down by 11.43 points.Turnover stood at Rs 1.36 billion with a single crossing. The crossing took place in People’s Leasing, which crossed two million shares to the tune of Rs 26 million and its share price traded at Rs 13.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were LOLC Rs 156.8 million (406,000 shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 105 million Rs 105 million (2.78 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 104.1 million (4.56 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs 76.1 million (one million shares traded) and Hayleys Fabrics Rs 51.6 million (2.85 million shares traded).
With the fuel price hike, Lanka IOC share price positively reflected in the stock market. Its share appreciated by 12 percent or Rs 2.40. Lanka-IOC share price started trading at Rs 20.60 and at the end of the day it moved up to Rs 23. During the 68.98 million share volumes changed hands in 18263 transactions.
Standard Chartered helps fast-track COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Sri Lanka
Standard Chartered Sri Lanka has successfully financed the import of 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation by facilitating a trade loan to the Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank, the Bank announced recently.
In efforts to expedite the nation’s vaccination programme during the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Standard Chartered worked closely with the two leading state-owned banks to facilitate prompt and efficient trade financing solutions to help accelerate the invoice processing and payments to purchase the vaccines.
“Across the globe, Standard Chartered has been in the forefront to help local communities to fight the coronavirus pandemic so that the world can look forward to a better tomorrow. When the first wave hit Sri Lanka last year, Standard Chartered made a much-needed donation of USD500,000 to the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to support emergency relief activities island-wide. This trade loan is a continuation of the Bank’s efforts to help the citizens of Sri Lanka overcome the pandemic and is a testament of Standard Chartered’s ‘here for good’ promise,” said Bingumal Thewarathanthri, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka.
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