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India heading for a lower tea output as H1 output falls 5%

India heading for a lower tea output as H1 output falls 5%

AUGUST 8 2018


India seems to be heading for a lower tea production this calendar compared to 2017 as the output has fallen by 4.58 per cent in the first half. “The Tea Board has just now released the production data for June which shows that output fell to 142.70 million kg (mkg) from 148.40 mkg in June 2017. This decrease of 5.70 mkg marked a decline of 3.84 per cent,” Rajesh Gupta, compiler of annual ‘Global Tea Digest’, told BusinessLine.


Adverse weather pulled down the harvest of green leaf and hence the manufacture of black tea in both North and South India.


Production in North India was down by 1.21 mkg to 120.18 mkg. While Assam, the country’s largest tea producing State, posted a 6.25 mkg rise in production, West Bengal lost 6.93 mkg.


South India suffered more loss with the production dropping by 4.49 mkg to 22.52 mkg. Besides adverse weather in some tea growing pockets, the stoppage of production by the bought leaf factories in The Nilgiris protesting against the Tea Board’s average price fixation for the raw material, green leaf, pulled down the output.


“Collectively, our compilation shows that in the first half of current calendar, India’s production dropped to 432.46 mkg from 453.23 mkg. This fall of 20.77 mkg marked a decline of 4.58 per cent. Production has fallen in both North and South India,” Rajesh Gupta said.


If this trend continues, tea producers apprehend India’s overall production this year to be around 1,300 mkg against 1,322 mkg produced in 2017. This would make 2018 the first year in recent times when the output would be below the previous year’s level.



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