India’s tea production which, till August, followed the trend of posting a new record year after year,has failed to adhere to this norm at September end.

September proved to be a disastrous month for North India even as production fell marginally in South India as well following adverse weather conditions.

“Tea Board has now released the September production data which shows that India lost 44.17 million kg (mkg) over September 2016 to total 145.83 mkg. Of this, North India lost 42.14 mkg to produce 127.54 mkg while South India lost 2.03 mkg to produce 18.29 mkg”, Rajesh Gupta, compiler of annual Global Tea Digest , told Business Line .

“Consequently, our compilation shows that at the end of the first three quarters of current calendar, India’s production has fallen to 912.55 mkg from 923.27 mkg, marking a marginal fall of 1.16 per cent”, he said.

Helped by higher production in earlier months, South India’s overall output in the ten months has increased over the corresponding period of 2016 but North India is trailing behind last year.

In the ten months, North India lost 25.79 mkg to produce 737.87 mkg. Assam continued to top India’s production table despite a lower output this year. The state produced 464.29 mkg – as much as 23.33 mkg less than the relevant months of 2016. Darjeeling also reported a lower production – 2.07 mkg against 6.88 mkg last year.

South India produced 15.07 mkg more to reach 174.68 mkg. Here, Tamil Nadu produced 124.80 mkg (up by 13.22 mkg) and Kerala 46.08 mkg (up by 2.03 mkg).

As of now, industry sources estimate the country’s production in the current calendar to be around 1257 mkg in 2017 – some 10 mkg less than 2016. If this happens, it will be for the first time in recent many years that India’s production will be less than the previous year.