Calcutta, Dec.10: Tea exports dipped 20.24 per cent between April and September to 81.85 million kg against 102.62 million kg in the first six months of the previous fiscal.
The decline comes on the back of a production shortfall from the beginning of the year, currency volatility and growing domestic demand, the Tea Board said.
India exports to Russia, Iran, Iraq, the EU, the UK and Pakistan.
During the April-June quarter, north India exported 15.18 million kg for Rs 337.76 crore against 17 million kg last year. During the same time, south India shipped 15.52 million kg for Rs 190.53 crore against 22.57 million kg in 2011-12.
Between July and September, North India exported 32.46 million kg, while south India shipped 18.69 million kg.
“It’s a combination of factors. Currency volatility is one of the reasons why countries have cut down on their imports. Production was also down this year. Meanwhile, domestic demand has been growing steadily,” said G. J. Ancheril, president, The United Planters’ Association of Southern India.
Meanwhile, domestic demand has steadily grown by 15-20 million kg a year.
Exports to Iran have also suffered because of a persisting currency crisis. Following the sanctions by the US on Iran, the Reserve Bank of India issued a directive on December 27, 2010 stating that transactions between the two countries had to be made outside the Asian Clearing Union — a clearing house system run by the central banks of nine nations.
“Export is primarily down because the Iran payments crisis continues,” said Tapan Kumar Chowdhury, managing director, Luxmi Tea Company.