Tea prices reached record levels in 2009

by Staff
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ROME — Tea prices have reached record levels this year but should ease in 2010 with the return of normal weather patterns in tea-producing regions in Asia and Africa, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

The F.A.O. Tea Composite price reached a high of $3.18 per kilogram in September as a result of droughts in India, Sri Lanka and Kenya and high demand weighing in as well. The average price per kilogram in 2008 was $2.38.

The F.A.O. now is concerned tea producers may overreact to the current high prices by planting more crops, which would threaten an oversupply in the market.

“Some producing countries, such as India, have acted responsibly and announced they would not be expanding current tea areas beyond what is required for replanting and rehabilitating existing tea gardens,” said Kaison Chang, secretary of F.A..O.’s Inter-Governmental Group on tea. “The return of normal weather patterns in the main producing regions indicates that the tight global market situation should begin to ease, alleviating the pressure on world tea prices in the New Year.”

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