Prolonged drought can lead to tea price increase

Noam Stiekema

The prolonged drought in East Asia dried up some of the best regions for growing tea, as it can lead to increased cost of the plant. The drought in Sri Lanka in the first quarter of 2014 has caused a decline in tea production with 50% quarter on quarter, according to the industry representatives. Most […]

Tea production droughtThe prolonged drought in East Asia dried up some of the best regions for growing tea, as it can lead to increased cost of the plant. The drought in Sri Lanka in the first quarter of 2014 has caused a decline in tea production with 50% quarter on quarter, according to the industry representatives. Most affected are 400 thousand small producers in areas of Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle and Matara, according to the Tea Association of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is the second largest producer of tea in the world with an annual production of 300 thousand tons. The price of tea falls in recent years, as during the last year it decreased with 40%. if we have in mind the both facts most probably in the current situation it will increase.

The producers in Malaysia are also hit by the drought. The production of the Boh plantations in Cameron Highlands decreased with 50% in February compared to the results in January, but already there are facts which indicate that the weather patterns are becoming more unstable, commented the CEO of the plantations Carolyn Russell.

“We see some worrying signs about the climate change in the long term. It is expected that the frequency of precipitation in the tropics will be very upset. There will be more moist and very dry periods. The levels of annual precipitation may not change dramatically, but their distribution will be, which will lead to very serious consequences for us”, said Carolyn Russell. “During dry periods will see a reduction of the crop, but the concern over wetlands that can lead to instability of the soil because we grow tea on fairly steep slopes. Of course, under such conditions occur incidents of landslides, but immediately after a dry period, the probability of them is particularly high”, added she.

“The excessive agricultural land management in Cameron Highlands could also affect the taste of the tea Boh. Many forests were cut down to clear more land for farming. This undoubtedly affected the temperature in the region. The observations show a rise in temperatures in the Cameron Highlands, and while it has no immediate effect on us is likely to have such a long term. So in the end might be expected the taste of the tea to be influenced”, finished the CEO of the Boh plantations.

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