Current Status of the Economy, Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Business: Tea Industry

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1 Current Status of the Economy, Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Business: Tea Industry Chatura Rodrigo Research Economist Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

2 Presentation flow Current Status of the Economy Major economic indicators Status of Sri Lanka trade Status of tea Industry Challenges to the tea industry Opportunities and way forward to the tea industry

3 ECONOMY

4 Current status of the economy: Major economic indicators: GDP growth: global comparison Despite the volatility over the years, in a global comparison, Sri Lanka s GDP growth performance on average during has been creditable, even pulling ahead of its historically betterperforming competitors in Southeast Asia

5 Current status of the economy: Major economic indicators: GDP growth, sectoral comparison Industrial sector growth appears to have done exceedingly well. Much is from construction sector not manufacturing. However, service sector is more diversified. Table 2.1 Sectoral Growth and Composition of GDP Annual Average Growth (%) Share (%) GDP Agriculture Tea Rubber Coconut Paddy Industry Manufacturing Construction Mining & quarrying Electricity, gas & water Services Wholesale & retail trade Transport & communication Banking, insurance & real estate etc Government services

6 Current status of the economy: Major economic indicators: Consumption and Investments Table 2.5 Consumption, Savings, and Investment Consumption (% change) GDCF (% change) Domestic savings (% of GDP) Investment (% of GDP) Private Government FDI (% of GDP) In line with lower GDP growth, consumption and investment growth declined quite sharply in Sri Lanka s economic growth is led by consumption, accounting on average for per cent of GDP. Sri Lanka needs more savings and appropriate levels of investment to support such consumption growth.

7 Current status of the economy: Major economic indicators: Exchange rates Rs/US$ (2010=100) Rs/US$ REER The Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) measured against a basket of 24 currencies saw a steady appreciation, weakening the competitiveness of Sri Lanka s exports in international markets.

8 Current status of the economy: Major economic indicators: external sector developments Sri Lanka continued to run a significantly high trade deficit at nearly 16 per cent of GDP in 2012 for a second consecutive year. Sri Lanka was able to bring its external current account deficit down to 6.6 per cent of GDP in 2012, from 7.8 per cent of GDP recorded in the previous year, because of continued favourable growth in earnings from worker remittances and tourism receipts.

9 Current status of the economy: Major economic indicators: credit growth, interest rates and inflations Inflationary pressures in the economy have been largely moderate, with annual average inflation contained to 7.6 per cent by end Tighter monetary conditions and the general slow down in economic activity ensured that price stability was not an overriding concern for monetary authorities.

10 TRADE

11 Trade performances: Export growth Table 3.2 Growth in Goods and Services Exports, 2012 Annual Average Growth (%) Share (%) a Agriculture Tea Industrial Gems, diamonds and jewellery Textiles and garments Services 31.0 Transportation IT Industrial exports, which account for 75 per cent of total exports, recorded a contraction of 7.8 per cent, led by a 5 per cent contraction in its key export category, garments. The contraction in export earnings of tea by 5.3 per cent, contributed towards the overall decline in agricultural exports. Adverse weather conditions affected production volumes leading to lower prices. Tea exports accounted for 14.12% of total export in 2011 and 14.4% in 2012.

12 Trade performances: Export growth Sri Lanka s share of goods exports which rose marginally from 0.05 per cent in 1980 to 0.08 per cent in 2000, has fallen again in the post 2000 period, and has reverted back to 0.05 per cent in 2012.

13 Trade performances: Outlook Sri Lanka s poor external sector performance in recent years does not bode well for a small economy aspiring to raise its per capita income, and sustain a high growth momentum While the slowdown in world trade growth has had an inevitable impact on Sri Lanka s export performance, the sizeable decline of absolute export earnings in 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 suggest that there are several domestic issues impeding export growth that require urgent attention. An analysis of Sri Lanka s export competitiveness reveals that the country lags significantly behind neighboring countries in the Asian region in terms of many competitiveness indicators. The incentive framework in place to promote export and investment growth is far from satisfactory.

14 Trade performances: Outlook Sri Lanka s trade policy, which has been showing trends of increased protectionism over this decade particularly in the form of proliferating para tarrifs is a significant concern. The country s limited involvement in regional and bilateral FTAs, especially in comparison with other Asian countries, has also restricted export competitiveness and market penetration. Moreover, the highly overvalued currency continues to adversely impact the competitiveness of Sri Lankan exports in the world market. While Sri Lanka has made some progress in reducing transport and logistics costs over the years, there is scope for further improvement in comparison to many Southeast Asian economies

15 TEA

16 Status of Tea Industry Top 10 destinations of Pure Ceylon tea MKg Country Change % Russia Iran Syria Turkey Iraq UAE Kuwait Azerbaijan Ukraine Japan Total Largest importer is Russia. Iran and Syria hold the second and third place. This trading pattern is attributed to sanctions imposed by USA and EU on Syria and Iran

17 Status of Tea Industry Global tea production in the first quarter MT Production change N India S India Bangladesh Sri Lanka Kenya Malawi Tanzania Uganda Total Global tea export comparision MT Country change 2012/2013 Kenya China Sri Lanka Taiwan Bangladesh Uganda Total Tea production in most countries increased steadily towards the end of the first quarter of African Black tea production recorded its highest. Kenya maintained its first place as world's largest tea exporter.

18 Status of Tea Industry Tea export statistics for the first quarter Million KGs January February March Total Re exports shows an increasing trend Earnings from tea exports dropped to USD million from by first quarter of there is a cumulative decline of 6.5%. Major contributors are tea packets which dropped by 6.2% and r exports dropped by 52%. Tea bags and instant tea recorded a substantial decrease, however green tea registered a marginal increase.

19 Status of Tea Industry Quantity of imports to Sri Lanka shows an increasing trend since 2009 India, China and Kenya are the main exporters of tea to Sri Lanka

20 Status of Tea Industry Bulk Packets Tea Bags Others Re- Exports Total Value Billion USD

21 Status of the tea Industry Favourable weather patterns resulted a better harvest in the first quarter of 2013 Average tea price at Colombo tea auction recorded a historical land mark to top Rs 400 per Kg in March at all elevations Green leaf rate received by small tea holders in low grown region increased to average Rs 60/Kg from Rs 50/Kg. Although high grown teas commanded healthy price levels during last six months, they struggled with highest labour costs incurred per production of 1Kg of tea.

22 CHALLANGES

23 Challenges to the Industry Restricted export competitiveness and market penetration Increased protectionism High competition (more than 40 countries) limited involvement in regional and bilateral FTAs, especially in comparison with other Asian countries highly overvalued currency continues to adversely impact the competitiveness high electricity costs and stringent labour regulations pose significant barriers on firms ability to compete in the global market. Overcoming problems such as information asymmetry Increased transportation costs, fertilizer costs

24 Challenges to the Industry Low productivity of old lands, but can new lands be viable (longer gestation period of new lands) Increased tariff and Non tariff barriers (by importer country) Higher food safety standards Increased cost of production: Low labour productivity including absenteeism, shortage of workers coupled with low levels of social recognition for plantation workers Low yielding varieties Financial support for Small tea holders Technology transfers Climate Change

25 WAY FORWARD

26 Opportunities and way forward to the tea Industry Tea is the largest agrarian industry in Sri Lanka. Provide direct and indirect employment to more than two million people or nearly 10% of the population Research in developing new varieties that can with stand impacts of climate change through Tea Research Institute Different types: Organic tea Use of renewable energy to address higher energy costs Financial assistance to SMEs: NDB. May be help upgrade factories to become more energy efficient, replace old machinery. SPS and TBT, banks can finance the investments in meeting standards, may be concessional loans to finance (internal compliance) Testing facilities for external compliance, may be establishing this at regional level with local financing Government support: subsidies the cost of re planting Is it possible to have carbon credits???

27 Opportunities and way forward to the tea Industry The government, the regional plantation companies, trade unions and workers have to play a collective role Provide support against exchange rate fluctuations, tariff and non tariff barriers Reduce tax from importer by trade agreements What about para trriffs such as SES (25% value addition) Sri Lanka has about 400,000 tea smallholders who support close to two million people. This as well as the second generation needs to be protected. A majority of Sri Lanka s tea smallholdings (approximately 80%) are below one acre. Land expansion might be an issue so we need to improve land productivity It is important to increase the productivity of the factories as well, energy savings, carbon and water foot prints are good options For any SME, three things are needed, Leadership, innovation, and competitiveness (first local, then regional and then global)

28 Thank You

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