Tea Board of India is proposing to take out a delegation to Pakistan by August as part of its efforts to boost exports.
“Pakistan is a thrust market for our tea. We had recently revised the five ‘thrust destinations’ of the US, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Egypt by replacing Egypt with Pakistan,” Tea Board’s Director of Tea Promotion for West Asia and North Africa (WANA), V. George Jenner, told Business Line.
He has now taken over the promotion of Indian tea in Pakistan and Afghanistan besides WANA. Tea Board’s Dubai office will do the groundwork.
“By August, we propose to take out a delegation of Indian tea trade to Pakistan. In the last couple of years, we have been facing problems in tea shipments to Egypt. India’s tea exports to Egypt dropped to 5.23 million kg (mkg) worth Rs 42.13 crore in 2010-11 from 5.76 mkg worth Rs 55.78 crore in 2009-10.
Data for 2011-12 are awaited but we are working hard to reach 10-12 mkg in the near future. That would be the level reached in 2008-09. Meanwhile, we have shifted our thrust on Pakistan,” Jenner disclosed.
“Impacted by internal political problems in the Gulf, India’s overall tea shipment to WANA fell to 57.61 mkg worth Rs 831.69 crore in 2010-11 from 68.39 mkg worth Rs 944.13 crore in 2009-10.
On the contrary, in this period, shipment to Pakistan increased to 22.08 mkg worth Rs 132.63 crore from a mere 8.31 mkg worth Rs 78.89 crore”, he noted.
The thrust on Pakistan means much to Nilgiri tea exporters because Pakistan is a strong purchaser at Coonoor Tea Trade Association’s auctions. It has been picking up select grades in the range Rs 90-118 a kg.