The Board announces the following trading update for the year to 31 December 2018. Reflecting substantial past investment and the favourable weather conditions experienced during the year for most of our agricultural operations, the volumes of all our core crops (tea, macadamia and avocado) are now anticipated to be at or near record highs.
Excellent volumes have however been accompanied by volatile prices. In Bangladesh the tea price has seen record highs and in Kenya and Malawi average tea prices have been above our earlier expectations given the volumes in the market. The harvests for avocados and macadamias are now substantially complete and whilst the significant fall in the prices of avocados globally has largely negated the increase in volumes, average macadamia prices in the year to date have been higher. Our remaining crops have performed in line with expectations. As a result, the Board believes that the profit before tax of the Group for the year is likely to be substantially above market forecasts.
The Board can also confirm that the previously announced disposal of BMT (Great Yarmouth) is now complete and that following a process to attract new investors, the Group has disposed of the entirety of its interest in XiMo AG. Contracts to purchase the land in Tanzania that we announced in the interim results have also been signed and we are now progressing with the transfer of titles. In addition, the Group has signed memoranda of understanding to acquire 2 additional tea gardens in Assam, India.