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Tea export dips in 2021 also

Planters apprehend it will decrease further in the current year, especially because of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine
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Avijit Sinha   |   Siliguri   |   Published 20.04.22, 01:21 AM

Export of tea from India dipped for the second consecutive year in 2021 because of Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown and the stakeholders’ expectation of a rise in the sale of the brew in the overseas market in 2022 suffered a setback because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

According to the data available with the Tea Board of India, the total export was 252.15 million kilos in 2019 and 209.72 million kilos in 2020. Last year, the export further plummeted to 195.50 million kilos.

“If we compare the figures of 2019 and 2021, there is a decline of around 22 per cent in the export. This is for the first time after many years that tea export registered a reduction for two consecutive years,” said a tea planter in Siliguri.

Tea planters apprehend the export will decrease further in the current year, especially because of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. “In the past two years, tea export declined because of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. We were expecting a rise in the export this year but the war between Russia and Ukraine has left us worried. Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) buy around 23 per cent of the total tea exported from India,” Tea Association of India secretary general Prabir Bhattacharjee said.

Russia has been the largest buyer of Indian tea (around 17 per cent of the total export), followed by Iran (13 per cent). 

“As exports were steadily increasing a couple of years ago, there was a plan to promote Indian tea aggressively and push the total export to around 300 million kilos a year. However, the pandemic, followed by the war, came as a fresh setback for the Indian tea industry,” the Siliguri planter said.

A marginal rise in prices in the international market in 2021 compared to the preceding year came as a consolation for the tea sector. The tea exported from India fetched Rs 5,246.89 crore in 2021 despite a dip in the volume. The amount was Rs 5,235.29 crore in 2020.

“The export earnings of 2021 are low in comparison with 2019 when the total revenue from the overseas market was Rs 5,737.66 crore,” said another planter.


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