Agri Business

India may barter tea for crude oil from Iran

P. S. Sundar Coonoor | Updated on November 20, 2017

A delegation of Iran Tea Association is expected to visit tea areas in India in August.

“In March, a tea delegation from India will visit Iran. In August, we will bring a high-powered delegation of Iran Tea Association to the Nilgiris, Assam and other parts of India,” V. George Jenner, Director of Tea Promotion for West Asia and North Africa, Tea Board of India, told Business Line.

Tea Board is working with Iran Tea Association in resolving problems relating to the opening of Letters of Credit (LC).

“We are advancing towards a situation where this association itself will directly import Indian teas and take care of domestic distribution. As India is importing oil, the possibility of a barter-type arrangement with tea is also being considered. The need for Iran to get over the economic sanctions, the option of opening revolving LCs and the foreign exchange equations are to the advantage of Indian tea exports”, he said.

“Iran is a promising destination for Indian tea. In 2010-11, our tea exports to Iran increased to 15.89 million kg (mkg) worth Rs 284.98 crore from 13.28 mkg worth Rs 209.61 crore in 2009-10. We are awaiting official data for 2011-12 but have targeted to raise the shipment to 25 mkg in the next three years. We see much scope for exporting Indian orthodox tea to Iran. Of late, we are focussing strongly on Iran market as quality tea gets as high as $4.50 a kg,” Jenner observed.

Tea Board has stepped up its promotional activities in Iran jointly with the Indian embassy.

“The ‘Indian tea festival’ we hosted there last month received fair response. We have launched a pilot scheme to introduce Indian tea to students. We will conduct ‘Tea Quiz’ in 50 schools and colleges this year. Besides Tehran, we will focus on tier-II cities. We will participate at ‘Tehran Agro Fair’ in May and ‘World of Tea’ fair at Tehran in December to make Indian tea more visible,” he noted.

Published on February 01, 2013

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