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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2002

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Plea to produce export quality teas

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KOCHI, Sept. 17

THE escalating input costs and the slackening grip on the export market have all impacted domestic tea trade adversely, Mr Shiroy Daruvala, Chairman, Tea Trade Association of Cochin, has said.

Addressing the tenth AGM of the association, Mr Daruvala said the constant rise in the cost of inputs has been so sharp that it had taken a toll on the very viability of several tea estates.

According to him, the only solution for the downward trend in prices is to manufacture quality teas. Mr Daruvala also stressed the need to attune market strategies to the changing psyche of the consumer.

The average price realisation from the Cochin auction centre during 2001 was Rs 52.21 per kg when compared to the previous year at Rs 51.33. In Coimbatore, the price was Rs 44.98 per kg in 2001 and Rs 43.35 in 2000 and in Coonoor it was Rs 41.46 per kg and Rs 39 respectively for the year 2001 and 2000.

Of the total offerings in all the three auction centres in South India, Coonoor accounted for 46.99 per cent followed by Cochin and Coimbatore with 37.18 per cent and 15.83 per cent respectively.

While there has been a 4.5 per cent increase in the world tea export, Indian tea exports dropped to 179.8 million kg in 2001 from 204.5 million kg in 2000 showing a decline of 12.1 per cent.

Similar trend is also seen in value realisation. Except that of India and Indonesia all other countries have improved their performances. Reduced enquiry from West Asia, the UK, Libya and Egypt coupled with the stoppage of tea imports by Iran resulted in lower exports.

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