The setback in the country’s tea production in the first two months of current calendar over 2017 was reversed in March with higher output in the North. Consequently, the overall Q1 production was more.

The Tea Board’s data for March pegs production at 61.04 million kg (mkg) against 56.16 mkg in March 2017, marking a gain of 4.88 mkg or 8.68 per cent, Rajesh Gupta, compiler of annual Global Tea Digest told Business Line. Unlike in January and February when output in North and South India was down, in March, North India managed a higher output, thanks to improved weather conditions and the factories re-opening after the winter closure.

In March, North India produced 46.72 mkg against 41.49 mkg in March 2017, marking an increase of 5.23 mkg or 12.61 per cent.

South India produced 14.32 mkg (14.67 mkg), a 2 per cent drop due to prolonged winter conditions.

In the first quarter, India produced 92.20 mkg (88.91 mkg), marking a gain of 3.70 per cent according `to our compilation’, Rajesh Gupta said. This was possible because of North India producing 53.86 mkg against 49.57 mkg, posting a gain of 4.29 mkg or 8.65 per cent.

This increase was enough to offset the loss of one million kg or 2.54 per cent in South India where the output in the first quarter slipped to 38.34 mkg from 39.34 mkg in Jan-Mar 2017.