Agri Business

Nilgiris tea output falls 19% in March

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on April 16, 2020

Lockdown has brought down the tea production in the Nilgiris in March by 19.08 per cent.

Tea companies in the district have informed Tea Board that their production in March declined to 1.06 million kg (mkg) from 1.31 mkg in March 2018 because of the lockdown.

The production was lower by 10.92 per cent over the five-year mean average of 1.19 mkg for the month. However, the cumulative output in the first quarter (Q1) of current calendar was up because of higher production in January and February.

The cumulative Q1 output rose to 2.98 mkg from 2.86 mkg in Jan-March 2019, marking a gain of 4.20 per cent.

This production was higher by 5.30 per cent over the normal output for the quarter as measured by the five-year mean average, which was 2.83 mkg.

Most tea companies have resumed production after a short break for lockdown and they expect a better output in April. This follows the Centre and the State governments treating tea as an essential industry, agricultural activity and food item.

However, normalcy will return only when teas begin moving out to the various destinations across the country.

Warehouses complain that teas bought in Sale 9 of the auctions of Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA) held on February 27 and 28 are yet to move out due to transportation bottlenecks. Thereafter, three more auctions were conducted and the teas bought in these auctions are also stockpiled.

Meanwhile, the CTTA had announced that Sale 13, which stands postponed since March 20, is scheduled for April 18 but this is subject to the district collector permitting the transportation of teas.

Published on April 16, 2020

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