Global black tea production in the first quarter of the current calendar has risen by 7.60 per cent over the same period of 2018.

“According to our compilation of the official data received from various producing countries, the global black tea production till March this year has risen to 310.44 million kg (mkg) from 288.52 mkg,” Rajesh Gupta, compiler of the annual Global Tea Digest, told BusinessLine.

The 21.92 mkg increase marking a growth of 7.60 per cent is the result of all producing countries reporting higher black tea production during the period, Rajesh Gupta said.

As of now, Kenya tops the production table with an output of 106.29 mkg against 99.76 mkg in January-March 2018. This increase of 6.53 mkg marked a gain of 6.55 per cent.

India follows closely with 103.61 mkg (92.20 mkg), marking a gain of 11.41 mkg or 12.38 per cent.

March was the first month in 2019 when India’s overall production rose above the corresponding month of 2018. Until February end, India’s production was trailing last year’s. Weather was conducive in both north and south India in March.

Till March, north India produced 64.13 mkg, up from 53.86 mkg, or 19.07 per cent, over last year. South India’s output rose to 39.48 mkg from 38.34 mkg, up a marginal 2.97 per cent.

Sri Lanka came a distant third with a production of 76.81 mkg up 4.04 per cent over last year’s 73.83 mkg.