Agri Business

Four per cent rise recorded in tea production in 2019

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on January 27, 2020

The country’s tea production is up by close to four per cent to 1,389.70 million kg (mkg) during the calendar year 2019, over 1,338.63 mkg in 2018.

The production is up by over three per cent to 1,286.09 mkg during the April-December 2019 period, compared with 1,246.43 mkg during same period the previous year. The increased production comes at a time when the industry has been reeling under the pressure of higher costs outstripping price realizations.

Advantage small growers

Most of the rise in production comes from small growers, who do not have to bear cost pressures as their peers in the organised sector do.

“There is a spike in production and most of it is from small growers. Good quality teas will continue to fetch good price and poor quality tea can exert pressure on costs. Unless there is a sizeable increase in prices, the industry will be under pressure this year,” said DP Maheshwari, Managing Director, Jay Shree Tea.

According to data available on the Tea Board website, during the calendar year 2019, production of North India tea gardens was up by over 5 per cent to 1,170.66 mkg as against 1,113.76 mkg in 2018. The production by small tea growers in North India was up by over 7 per cent to 578.15 mkg (538.30 mkg), while that by big growers increased by close to 3 per cent to 592.51 mkg (575.46 mkg).

The all-India tea prices at auctions up to December this year was up marginally at ₹144.98 a kg, over ₹144.38 a kg during the same period last year. Prices in North India during the same period was ruling marginally higher at around ₹157.66 a kg (₹157.29); while that in South India was down by 4 per cent at ₹97.11 a kg (₹100.75), as per Tea Board data.

“We will have to see if this is last years’ production which may have gone unreported. If that be the case, then the price discounting would have already been taken into account. However, if this is new production, then it could exert further pressure on prices,” said an industry expert.

‘Foodka’ campaign

With a view to promoteing tea as a beverage and also the concept of tea tourism among the millenials, Tea Board of India has teamed up with a popular Bengali youtube channel – Foodka – which is spearheaded by RJ Mir and a renowned food blogger Indrajit Lahiri.

Foodka and Tea Board will bring out a series with five episodes dedicated to an array of Darjeeling Tea and also the tourism circuit of the North Bengal region, said AK Ray, Deputy Chairman, Tea Board.

Published on January 27, 2020

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