Agri Business

India leads in global black tea output with northern bumper

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on August 22, 2019

Despite a sharp fall in Kenyan production, the global black tea output in the first half of current calendar increased over the corresponding period of 2018 by 1.44 per cent, essentially due to the increase in India.

“Our analysis of the official data received from various producing countries shows that in the first half of current calendar, the global black tea production rose to 906.80 million kg (mkg) from 893.90 mkg in January-June 2018,” Rajesh Gupta, compiler of annual Global Tea Digest told Business Line.

Marginal gain

This increase of 12.90 mkg marked a marginal gain of 1.44 per cent.

The increase would have been more had it not been for a significant fall of 18.40 mkg or 7.97 per cent in Kenya where, due to adverse weather, black tea output dropped to 212.59 mkg from 230.99 mkg in Jan-June 2018.

Global gain

All other countries posted an increase. Sri Lanka, which was struggling to make even its crop assessment, managed to report an increase of 0.29 mkg or 0.18 per cent as its production marginally rose to 157.88 mkg from 157.59 mkg.

However, the highest increase came from India, offsetting the Kenyan loss.

India’s output

“India produced 473.68 mkg against 451.83 mkg in Jan-June 2018, marking a gain of 21.85 mkg or 4.84 per cent,” Gupta said. Here again, the production would have been more had it not been for a fall of 9.64 mkg or 8.75 per cent in South India, which was reeling under adverse weather conditions in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

“Production in South dropped to 100.52 mkg from 110.16 mkg,” Gupta noted.

North Indian bumper

“North India, however, posted a massive gain of 31.49 mkg or 9.22 per cent with the output increasing to 373.16 mkg from 341.67 mkg in Jan-June 2018,” he said. In the first half of current calendar, India topped the global black tea production table with Kenya at a distant second followed by Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh is enjoying better times with the production in the first half rising by 8.56 mkg or as much as 44.15 per cent to reach 27.95 mkg from 19.39 mkg in Jan-June 2018.

Published on August 22, 2019

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