Plantation stocks hit in the wake of reported tea export restrictions
Posted on December 16th, 2017

By Hiran H.Senewiratne Courtesy The Island

Stock prices at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE)  in plantation sector  counters dropped yesterday with reported restrictions on Sri Lankan agricultural exports, including Ceylon tea,  from December 18, by  the Russian agricultural safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

On the previous day plantation sector counters picked up in the stock market but with the emergence of this new issue Sri Lanka plantation sector stocks are likely to be hit if the restrictions on exports continue, market analysts said.  Russia the biggest tea exporter of Sri Lanka tea, buys more than 23 percent of local tea exports. ‘It took the decision to impose restrictions after an insect, known as the Khapra beetle, was found in the packaging of a consignment of tea from Sri Lanka, market sources said.

Yesterday, consequently, the stock market was flat as both indices indicated mixed reactions, ie, the All Share Price Index went down by 5.61 points and S and P SL20  move up by 10.94, moving the day’s turnover to Rs. 344.1 million with three crossings. Those crossings were: LOLC 1.19 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs. 149 million at a per share value of Rs. 125, Asiri Surgical Hospitals five million shares crossed at Rs. 55 million at a per share value of Rs. 55  and Chevron Lubricants 178,000 shares crossed for Rs. 20 million at a per share value of Rs. 112.50.

When it comes to the retail market, the companies that mainly contributed to the day’s turnover were: Sampath Bank  Rs. 20.69 million (63000 shares traded), Commercial Bank (Non Voting) Rs. 20.36 million (189,000 shares traded) and JKH Rs. 14.1 million (94000 shares traded). During the day 67 million share volumes changed hands in 2210 transactions.’Members of Rusteacoffee, an association of Russian tea producers, will ask Rosselkhoznadzor to resume tea imports from Sri Lanka, but with tougher controls, sources said. ‘If this restriction continues sometime it could affect the entire stock market, they said.

Russia imported 141,300 tonnes of tea worth $436 million in the first 10 months of 2017, according to Customs data.

Meanwhile, JKSB reported as follows – ASPI: 6,352.10 (-4.94 pts; -0.08%); Val T/O: Rs. 345mn (US$2.25mn); Vol T/O: 16.7mn; Trades: 2,210

Advance/decline ratio: 86/75; Top gainer: BLUE.X (+33.33%) ; Top loser: SEMB.X (-33.33%)

Highlights:

*The ASPI ended marginally lower amid lackluster market turnover. LOLC, AMSL, and LLUB led activity levels including crossings. Trading in LOLC amounted to 44% of total turnover

*Banks, Finance, & Insurance was the most actively traded sector (-0.05%)

*Information Technology was the best performing sector (+1.63%), supported by gains on ECL (+1.69%)

*Services was the worst performing sector (-1.89%), dragged down by declines on JKL (-3.11%)

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