Despite a marginal increase in September, indications are clearly that India is heading for a massive shortfall in tea output this calendar over 2019 essentially due to lockdown.

“Tea Board has now revealed the data for September which shows that the production rose marginally by 2.10 million kg (mkg) to reach 187.90 mkg from 185.80 in September 2019”, Rajesh Gupta, Compiler of ‘Global Tea Digest’ told BusinessLine.

“In view of lesser production in earlier months, India’s cumulative output in the first three quarters ending September crashed to 856.90 mkg from 1007.22 mkg in January-September 2019,” he said. This marked a whopping shortfall of 150.32 mkg or 15 per cent – difficult to make over in the winter months of October-December when the harvest in the field will normally be lower.

North India produced 697.30 mkg against 853.35 mkg in January-September 2019, marking a massive loss of 156.05 mkg or 18.29 per cent.

“South India, on the other hand, produced 5.73 mkg (3.72 per cent) more to reach 159.60 mkg from 153.87 mkg in January-September 2019”, he said.