Commodities

Global black tea output down a tad due to Kenya

P S SUNDAR Coonoor | Updated on April 16, 2021

Kenya’s output has fallen to 92.28 mkg from 102.84 mkg

Despite significant increase in the production of black tea in India, Sri Lanka, Malawi and Bangladesh, the overall global black tea output so far this calendar has marginally fallen below the corresponding months of 2020 because of Kenya pulling down the output.

“Our compilation of the official data from various producing countries shows that the global production of black tea so far this calendar has marginally fallen to 193.75 million kg (mkg) from 194.13 mkg in the same months of 2020, marking a loss of 0.20 per cent”, Rajesh Gupta, compiler of the annual Global Tea Digest told BusinessLine.

“Kenya’s output has fallen to 92.28 mkg from 102.84 mkg, accounting for a loss of 10.56 mkg or 10.27 per cent”, he said.

This would have been enough to pull down heavily the global black tea bowl but as it happened, Kenya was the only country where the production has fallen so far this calendar. The increases in other nations reduced the overall loss to a marginal level.

“India’s production rose to 33.53 mkg from 30.60, marking a gain of 2.93 mkg or 9.58 per cent”, Rajesh Gupta disclosed.

Sri Lanka’s output increased to 45.43 mkg from 39.89 mkg – up by 5.54 mkg or 13.89 per cent, he noted.

Bangladesh produced 0.31 mkg from 0.20 mkg – an increase of 0.11 mkg or a whopping 55 per cent.

Malawi’s production has increased to 22.20 mkg from 20.60 mkg – a gain of 1.60 mkg or 7.77 per cent, Rajesh Gupta revealed.

These increases were, however, inadequate to compensate the loss in Kenya’s tea production.

Producing nations fear that the shortfall could widen in coming months if different countries impose lockdown or restrictions to fight against the second wave of Covid-19.

Kenya is the largest producer of black tea so far this calendar. Only when North Indian output hits the market beyond April, India can expect to top the global black tea table.

Published on April 16, 2021

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