Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tea Prices Likely to Reach Record Because of Droughts, FT Says

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Tea prices may climb to record highs as a result of simultaneous droughts in the world's main exporting countries, the Financial Times reported, citing executives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Kaison Chang, a tea expert at the UN agency in Rome, said droughts in India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, which account for half the world's exports, will worsen shortages stemming from last year, the newspaper reported.

Preliminary estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization, which the FT has reviewed, show that tea consumption last year rose 4.8 percent, to 3.85 million metric tons, while production rose only 1.2 percent, to 3.78 million.

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