India’s tea exports take a beating

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on October 23, 2020 Published on October 23, 2020

Lower volumes shipped at lower average price resulted in overall lower earnings from exports: prices in domestic market were however, better

India’s tea exports in 2020 have taken a beating on all three fronts — volume, value and price — compared to the same period of 2019.

Till July, the latest period for which official data are available with the Tea Board, India’s tea exports nosedived to 115.27 million kg (mkg) from 141.26 mkg during January-July 2019, marking a decline of 18.40 per cent.

Lower availability due to reduction in production, lockdown in many countries in the world’s fight against Covid-19, suspension of transport facilities, disruption of public auctions, hesitancy among exporters to invest huge sums against uncertain shipments and disturbance in banking operations were said to be the major causes of India’s poor performance in tea exports.

With fewer takers, especially at higher prices, the average price of exported tea dropped to ₹222.05 a kg from ₹228.17 in January-July 2019, marking a loss of 2.68 per cent.

As lesser volume was shipped at lower average price, the overall earnings from tea exports suffered significantly.

The overall earnings dropped to ₹2,559.56 crore from ₹3,223.15 crore, posting a shortfall of 20.59 per cent.

Tea industry in both North India and South India posted a decline in tea exports on all the three parameters — volume, value and price.

“However, producers received higher prices in the domestic market than in exports,” a trader said.

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Published on October 23, 2020
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