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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea prices weak, output fall expected

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka tea prices remained weak in the third week of July amid with slightly lower volume being sold from a week earlier, and industry expecting crop intake to fall, as rains ease and fertilizer problem starting to be felt, industry officials said.

Preliminary information from estates indicated that crop volumes may fall in the coming weeks, market participants said. There had also been quality issue in recent auctions brokers said.

There are anecdotal evidence of tea farmers experiencing problems in getting fertilizer on time after Sri Lanka banned chemical fertilizer.

On the buying side, currency problems in Turkey has also hit purchasing power.

Sri Lanka sold 6.8 million kilograms of tea in the auction of July 19 and 20, down from 7.1 million kilograms a week earlier.

It was made up of 0.95million kilograms of Ex-Estate teas (mainly high grown teas sold while in the factory itself to retain quality) and 2.8 million kilograms in Low Grown (Leafy/Tippy) teas.

Low Growns

Last week the Low Grown tea sale average was 630.10 rupees up by 7.77 rupees from a week earlier. BOPF teas maintained prices from last week.

This week, a few select BOP bests gained while the rest maintained last week’s prices.

Select best FBOP/FBOP1were firm and then eased marginally as the sale progressed. Bests and cleaner below bests gained while the rest maintained prices.

Well-made varieties and cleaner below bests FBOPF/FBOP1’s in general maintained steady prices while others declined following lower quality.

High Growns

Last week, the High Grown auction average was tea sale average of 545.47 rupees.

This week in BOP teas, select best and best westerns dropped 20-30 rupees a kilogram.

Brighter below bests declined by 10-20 rupees a kilogram while the balance along with the plainer varieties held firm prices from last week.

BOP Nuwara Eliya prices were irregular following lower quality.

Better Udapussellawa’s declined 20 rupees per kilogram whereas the balance were firm towards the end of the auction. Uva’s maintained last week prices.

In BOPF category, a few best westerns went up by 50 rupees a kilogram while the others gained to a lesser extent.

Brighter sorts in the below best category went up by 30-50 rupees a kilogram while the balance teas along with plainer varieties were irregular. BOPF Nuwara Eliya’s followed a similar trajectory to the BOP teas.

Better Udapussellawa’s were irregular while the rest together with the Uva’s maintained.

Medium Growns

Last week, the Medium Grown auction average was 520.13 rupees up 2.37 rupees from a week before. This week well-made OP/OPA’s gained 10-20 rupees while the balance were firm and as the sale progressed, gained marginally.

BOPF better sorts were lower, brokers said, while well made BOP teas maintained and the rest declined by 20-30 rupees a kilogram.

Select Best FBOP’s eased in general.

 

FF1’s declined 10-20 rupees a kilogram,.

CTC

High grown BP1s were irregular while PF1 better teas gained 20 rupees a kilogram.

Mid grown BP1s declined 10-20 rupees a kilogram while PF1s followed a similar trend to their BP1 teas. Low grown BPIs better sorts gained 20 rupees a kilogram, while better PF1 teas gained 10 rupees while the rest were irregular.

Crop and weather

Westerns and Nuwara Eliyas recorded a slight decline in crop whilst the Uva/Udapussellawa and Low grown districts maintained, Ceylon Tea Brokers said.

A general decrease in crops were seen in the previous weeks, leading to low volumes at this week’s auction.

The Department of Meteorology forecasts heavy showers with strong winds in the Nuwara Eliya region, eavy showers are expected in the Ruhuna and Sabaragumwa, in the coming week.

The Western planting districts including Nuwara Eliyas reported bright mornings with scattered evening showers. The Low grown region had bright mornings with scattered evening showers.

 

 



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SLTMobitel-PEOTV and DP Education launch ‘Videsa DP Education’

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider has teamed up with DP Education, to launch ‘Videsa DP Education’, a dedicated educational channel on CH.215 of SLTMobitel–PEOTV, ensuring school children from Grade Five to Advanced Level have access to a high-quality learning experience with Rewind TV.

The revolutionary services of SLTMobitel-PEOTV includes ‘Videsa’ a series of educational channels hosted on the platform, that comprise of 06 TV channels dedicated to individual grades covering grades 06 to 11, that enhance the knowledge sharing with curriculum-centered lessons from a panel of reputed teachers. DP Education, a unique online learning platform, leverages digital solutions to deliver quality education to empower students. Together, Videsa and DP Education, enrich the educational arena further with the ‘Videsa DP Education’ channel, a dedicated television space for the students at home.

This path-breaking partnership is a commitment by SLTMobitel–PEOTV to support the education of children, whose options are limited due to the challenges convergence posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will use the home TV screen and mobile devices as a ubiquitous medium to impart knowledge providing access to quality education for students across the country.

Commenting on the initiative, Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT said, “We understand that parents are now faced with the challenge of keeping their children safe during the pandemic as well as having to deal with the ongoing disturbances to their children’s education. As a solution to ensure that their learning remains uninterrupted, we have already introduced six different channels for Grade 6 to Grade 11 students through our Videsa digital platform. Our latest initiative and partnership with DP Education has now enabled us to launch a dedicated channel with unique learning experiences in key subjects such as Mathematics, Science and English for students from Grade 5 to Advanced Level with the Rewind TV facility. We are appreciative of the exceptional efforts extended by Mr. Dammika Perera and his team at DP Education and are grateful for the opportunity to connect the two learning platforms together in unison to create a revolutionary learning experience for our children”.

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Thornton and Dane’s combined projects portfolio tops Rs 5.9 billion

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Thornton Engineering, the Nextventures owned civil engineering company, has announced the acquisition of a 100% stake in Dane Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. for Rs 350 million, creating a construction business with a combined portfolio of Rs 5.9 billion.

The new entity, Thornton and Dane Engineering, expects to add new construction projects with a cumulative value of Rs 5 billion within the current financial year, nearly doubling its projects portfolio, the Company said in its announcement.

“We are excited at the post-acquisition prospects for the new company, because we strongly believe that it is a good example for the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” said Thornton and Dane Director Dinesh Schaffter. “The combined strengths of Thornton and Dane create a formidable as well as extremely flexible engineering company that is capable of executing projects of varying scope and scale.”

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Capacity-building programs for SMEs

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Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries (SLCSMI), the apex body for SMEs in Sri Lanka has been at the forefront in supporting the SMEs during the pandemic. The chamber took several measures since the pandemic first hit the country in the first quarter of 2020. The Webinar series “Way Forward for SMEs” was a grand success among other initiatives, which was conducted with the participation of prominent scholars, leading business personalities as well as top rankers of state and private sector organizations.

The president of SLCSMI, Prof. Rohan De Silva said: “We are always there to represent and support the SMEs in the country and that’s our prime duty. During the first wave, we understood the need to share the knowledge and provide psychological support for the business owners to withstand the difficult times and that’s how the webinar series was born. Our initiative was well received by the businesses and our audience was not limited to Sri Lanka alone, as we witnessed participants from around 12 countries.”

Prof. Rohan further said that the chamber has looked at the possibilities of providing sustainable solutions to the SMEs beyond merely conducting knowledge sharing sessions and the Executive Committee has decided to introduce a range of Capacity Building programs to develop the SMEs. These programs include different solutions to address various gaps among the SMEs and the chamber intends to issue a valuable certificate for the participants of these programs.

The chamber has partnered with the Asia Pacific Institute of Money and Entrepreneurship Development (iMED) to design and deliver the programs and the details of the Programs will be unveiled at the launching event scheduled to be held on the 25th of September.

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