Agri Business

‘India helping fill global tea bowl’

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on July 17, 2019 Published on July 17, 2019

India is currently helping fill the world black tea bowl as supplies from Kenya and Sri Lanka have fallen.

“According to our compilation of the official black tea production data received from various countries, the global black tea production so far this year has risen to 673.05 million kg (mkg) from 668.91 mkg in the same months last year,” Rajesh Gupta, compiler of annual Global Tea Digest, told Business Line.

“This increase of 4.14 mkg marked a marginal growth of just 0.62 per cent”, he noted. The increase would have been higher but for the fall in production in Kenya and Sri Lanka, the two major producing countries.

Due to adverse weather, Kenya lost as much as 17.52 mkg or 9.33 per cent and produced 170.17 mkg against 187.69 mkg in 2018. Sri Lanka also suffered adverse weather, resulting in its production falling by 3.88 mkg or 2.88 per cent to 130.68 mkg from 134.56 mkg in 2018.

On the contrary, India produced as much as 20.12 mkg or 6.65 per cent more to reach 322.82 mkg from 302.70 mkg in 2018. This helped offset the fall in Kenya and Sri Lanka.

India’s production would have been higher, had it not been for a fall in South India. Usually, plantations in South India and Sri Lanka share almost the same pattern of weather.

“South India’s output dropped by 11.48 mkg or 13.20 per cent to dip to 75.52 mkg from 87 mkg,” Gupta said. “North India’s production, on the other hand, increased by as much as 31.60 mkg or 14.65 per cent to reach 247.30 mkg from 215.70 mkg,” he added.

Bangladesh and Malawi have also produced more tea now than last year. India is topping the global black production table; for that matter, North India is first in the list. Kenya is a distant second followed by Sri Lanka.

Published on July 17, 2019
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