Tea exports have dropped during the last two financial years due to problems of container availability and logistics dislocation., Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, told the Rajya Sabha on today (Friday).

He said there was a decline in export of tea in the last financial years. Reportedly, this was due to non-availability of containers, dislocation in shipping schedules, lockdown and uncertainty in the market due to Covid and disruptions in overall global trade.

India exported 200.79 million kg (valued ₹5,415.78 crore) and 203.79 million kg (valued ₹5,311.53 crore) of tea during 2021-22 and 2020-21, respectively.

However, India’s tea export was 241.34 million kg (valued at ₹5,457.10 crore) and 254.50 million kg (valued at ₹5,506.84 crore) during 2019-20 and 2018-29, respectively.

He said the export of tea during January-May 2022 was 83.49 million kg (valued at ₹2,116.75 crore) compared to 77.26 million kg (valued ₹2,036.37 crore) during the corresponding period of last year, showing a growth of 8.06 per cent in volume and 3.94 per cent in value term.

As per quick estimates, the value of tea exports was at ₹500.03 crore in June 2022 against ₹390.28 crore in June 2021. The value of tea exported from India recorded a growth of 28.12 per cent in June, he said.

Asked if the consignment of tea was rejected by some countries recently, he said the Indian Tea Exporters’ Association has confirmed to the Tea Board that return of any tea consignment has not been reported. It has been a continuous endeavour of the Tea Board and the tea industry to strategise ways and means to ensure quality of tea being exported from India, he said.

The Tea Board has been undertaking measures such as the enforcement of ‘Plant Protection Code’ (PPC) in the plantations for ‘Good Agricultural Practices’ (GAP), and the ‘Factory Safety Management System’ (FSMS) at the factory level for ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ (GMP).

Mandatory testing of sampled teas (twice in a year) are being taken up at the factory level for checking conformance with the FSSAI parameters.

He said the mandatory closure of all the factories in early December every year also helped in arresting infusion of sub-standard teas into the system.