Agri Business

‘Production shortfall should drive tea prices up’

Press Trust of India Kolkata | Updated on March 19, 2019 Published on March 19, 2019

The Tea Board is expecting better prices in 2019 on the back of strong fundamentals, a senior official said on Tuesday. The official also said the board would focus on quality and compliance with new Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) norms.

S Soundararajan, Director of Tea Promotion, Tea Board, said that production in 2018 was 1,350 million kg. “We expect the figure to be similar in 2019. Domestic consumption is also growing at 2.2 per cent year-on-year,” he told PTI.

“Prices should go up. We had stopped plucking in many States during December to February, which has led to a production shortfall of 25 million kg,” Soundararajan said.

This, he said, would likely have a positive impact on the prices. He, however, said prices did not go up as expected last year.

About the increasing proportion of production by bought leaf factories, Soundararajan said this had created a low-end parallel market of sorts. In West Bengal, the proportion of production by BLFs was close to 50 per cent and over 60 per cent in Assam, with the all-India average being 46-47 per cent, the official said.

Published on March 19, 2019
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