POOR HARVESTS SET TEA PRICES BOILINGBy Javier Blas in London 2009-06-10
Tea prices have hit record highs, rising almost 35 per cent in the past 12 months, due to the impact of simultaneous droughts on the crops of the main exporting countries.
The sharp output falls in India, Kenya and Sri Lanka has come as demand remains robust in spite of the impact of the economic crisis, exacerbating last year's deficit. "Major black tea producing countries have continued to record lower production. . . owing to dry weather conditions," said Sicily Kariuki, managing director at The Tea Board of Kenya, the industry regulator.
The wholesale price of the best quality black tea, or BP1, rose last week to $3.69 a kilogram at the weekly auctions in Mombasa, Kenya - above the previous record of $3.63/kg last year. Wholesale best quality black tea prices have more than doubled from a decade low of $1.75/kg set in December 2001. Prices averaged $3.07 last year.
Unlike coffee, tea does not trade in a futures exchange and the business is based on physical deals at auctions. Mombasa's auctions are the world's largest.
Some tea traders believe prices could rise further this summer as supplies remain well below's last year level. But they are also warning that buyers, particularly from emerging markets, could slow purchases.
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, which tracks global tea supply and demand, says there is a "significant" shortfall in supply.
Official production figures for the first quarter in key exporting countries, released recently, have confirmed the industry's worst forecast for a sharp decline in output.
干旱导致茶叶价格飙升英国《金融时报》哈维尔•布拉斯(Javier Blas)伦敦报道 2009-06-10
印度、肯尼亚和斯里兰卡茶叶产出急遽下降，而尽管全球陷入经济危机，茶叶需求依然强劲，加大了去年的供需缺口。行业监管机构肯尼亚茶叶局(Tea Board of Kenya)理事长西西里•卡里乌基(Sicily Kariuki)表示：“由于天气干旱……主要红茶生产国的产量都在持续下降。”