Calcutta, Aug. 8: India’s tea exports are likely to fall about 13 million kg this year to 180 million kg on the back of high prices, a weak global outlook and a fall in the price of its substitute, coffee, an Icra Management Consultancy study revealed.
Production is expected to decline to around 950 million kg in 2012 against 988 million kg in 2011.
“Tea production came down 11.4 per cent year-on-year in the first five months of 2012. Production has experienced a downward trend since October 2011, with severe declines in March-April. While production in north India came down 12.2 per cent in the first five months, production in south India was down 10.2 per cent,” the report stated.
In the north, an early start to winter and drought in the first quarter of 2012 affected production.
The prolonged dry spell in Tamil Nadu and Kerala pulled down production in the south.
Two major factors affecting exports are the faster-growing coffee market and the rise in domestic consumption. The report highlights that domestic consumption grew 2.3 per cent in 2011.
Exports have fallen at a compounded average growth rate of 1.7 per cent during 2009-11.
Globally, tea output is expected to decline in India and Kenya this year, while it will increase about 4-5 million kg in Sri Lanka. Overall output is slated to rise 2 per cent. Global tea consumption is likely to increase at a lower rate of 2.9 per cent in 2012.
Assam orthodox price
An Assam orthodox variety from the Duflating Tea Estate has fetched a record price at Rs 6,999 a kilogram.
Auctioned off by J Thomas & Co, five packages (90 kilogram) were purchased by Agri Import & Export Ltd, to be airlifted to a boutique customer in Japan.