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Sunday, Jul 04, 2004

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Tea import bill up by Rs 9 crore

P.S. Sundar

Coonoor , July 3

THE Tea import bill has gone up by Rs 9 crore in the first four months of this year compared to the same period of last year.

According to the Tea Board, the unit price of imported tea was lower by Rs 1.46 a kg to Rs 57.54. This led more teas to come in and the volume rose by 1.55 million kgs to 3.58 mkg.

Consequently, the c.i.f import value rose to Rs 20.63 crore from Rs 11.98 crore last year.

Although the volume of imports rose, use of the imported tea in the domestic market continued to remain at last year's level of 0.04 mkg. That means, as much as 3.54 mkg of the 3.58 mkg imported were re-exported. In the corresponding period of last year, the re-exports were 1.99 mkg.

As for the controversial low duty imports from Sri Lanka, despite a fall in the unit price, the import bill was lower because of the reduction in the volume of imports. In the four months, the total imports from Sri Lanka were only 0.047 mkg worth Rs 0.45 crore against 0.14 mkg valued at Rs 1.45 crore last year. This is despite the price falling to Rs 93.82 a kg from Rs 105.05

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