Week 16, 2014
Tea market report 14–18 April, 2014
A fairly mixed bag of markets this week. Mombasa saw improved demand but barely higher prices and in fact, many categories saw a marginal decline. Limbe met increased interest with a much better rate of absorption but again, prices did not move to any notable extent. There was no auction in Colombo and Jakarta again tended easier. New season tea in north India is selling well at decent prices but on an international scale does not present value against other origins.
The weather in most growing countries is seasonally normal. Kenya is enjoying decent rainfall on both sides of the Rift and crop intakes are increasing nicely. Malawi had good rainfall over the past week and we foresee a long tail to the growing season there. Showers in Sri Lanka and Indonesia keep the tea growing. It is too early to make a call on north Indian crop prospects but so far, the weather has been moderate. The main plucking seasons in both Vietnam and China are imminent whilst Argentina now drifts out of the frame.
There is plenty of tea available, demand is moderate and crop prospects look fair. Given this, we see no reason other than to remain neutral to mildly bearish in the short term. It will take a significant crop deficit in one of the big engines of production if we are to see a real upward shift in tea prices. As we stand today, there is no sign of this but have been around for long enough to ‘never say never’….
To those of our readers who celebrate it, HAPPY EASTER. To those who do not, enjoy a few days off.