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Lanka to regain top position as highest tea exporter for 2006?

Sri Lanka is tipped to regain its position as the globe's highest exporter of tea for 2006, edging out arch rival Kenya, when international tea export statistics are released, within a fortnight.

Current data shows Sri Lanka's exports up to end-November at 300 million kilograms, while drought hit Kenya mustered 288 kilos in shipments abroad, for the same period.

With Customs date yet to come in, brokers, Asia Siyaka has projected Sri Lanka's exports for 2006 to reach 325 million kilos. Had the nation's tea plantations not encountered the trade union backed go-slow during December, another two to three million kilos would have been added to the national tea crop, director Asia Siyaka, Anil Cooke said.

The Colombo tea trade anticipate the Kenyan crop for the year past, to be computed at 310 to 315 million kilograms.

Thus far, Sri Lanka's highest tea exports for a year was 308 million kilos in 2005, but, Kenya's export figures showed a couple of kilos more. However, Kenya's export figure is counted as the Mombassa auctions numeral, while other African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda and Zimbabwe also have some of their teas come under the Mombassa auctions.

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