Global black tea output up 2%

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on September 10, 2019 Published on September 10, 2019

July turned out to be a better month for global black tea production, brightening the prospects of calendar 2019 ending with a higher output than in 2018.

“Our analysis of the latest official data received from various producing countries shows that till July, the global black tea production rose to 1152.09 million kg (mkg) from 1127.83 mkg in January-July 2018,” Rajesh Gupta, compiler of annual Global Tea Digest, told Business Line.

This increase of 24.26 mkg marked a gain of 2.15 per cent.

The increase would have been more had it not been for a significant fall of 22.23 mkg or 8.35 per cent in Kenya where, due to adverse weather in July as also earlier months, black tea output dropped to 244.04 mkg from 266.27 mkg in Jan-July 2018.

All other countries posted an increase. Sri Lanka managed to report an increase of 1.71 mkg or 0.94 per cent as its production marginally rose to 183.15 mkg from 181.44 mkg in Jan-July 2018. This was better than the situation till the end of the first half.

Indian bumper crop

However, the highest increase came from India, offsetting the Kenyan loss.

“India produced 649.75 mkg against 614.34 mkg in January-July 2018, marking a gain of 35.41 mkg or 5.76 per cent,” Rajesh Gupta said.

In July, both North and South India produced more tea but, due to lesser output in earlier months following adverse weather conditions, South India’s production till July trailed behind last calendar.

“South India lost 4.52 mkg or 3.57 per cent with production in the seven months falling to 122.25 mkg from 126.77 mkg in January-July 2018,” Rajesh Gupta said.

“North India, however, posted a massive gain of 39.93 mkg or 8.19 per cent with the output increasing to 527.50 mkg from 487.57 mkg in Jan-July 2018,” he noted.

Thus, while North India posted the world’s highest volume increase in the seven months, India continued to top the global black tea production table with Kenya at a distant second, followed by Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh is enjoying better times with the production in the seven months rising by 8.67 mkg or as much as 28.54 per cent to reach 39.05 mkg from 30.38 mkg in Jan-July 2018.

Collectively, despite the fall in Kenyan output, the global black tea production so far this calendar has increased over the corresponding months of 2018, essentially due to a significant rise in India.

Published on September 10, 2019
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