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India’s tea shipments in three quarters nosedive

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on December 29, 2020 Published on December 29, 2020

Marking a loss of 17.27 per cent

India’s tea shipments in the first three quarters of the current calendar have fallen compared to the same period of 2019 due to Covid-19 and the concomitant lockdown in many countries.

After months of sacrificing prices, producers raised their export price in September resulting in the average price to increase to ₹234.76 a kg in the three quarters from ₹229.42 in Jan-Sept 2019, marking a gain of 2.33 per cent.

However, this pulled down the volume shipped to 151.13 million kg (mkg) from 186.94 mkg in Jan-Sept 2019, marking a decline of 19.16 per cent reveals the latest data available with the Tea Board.

This lower volume reduced the overall earnings to ₹3,547.97 crore (4,288.78 in Jan-Sept 2019), marking a loss of 17.27 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 in the public auctions, hesitancy among exporters to invest huge sums against uncertain shipments and disturbance in banking operations were said to be the major causes for poor performance on India’s tea export front.

Both North and South India posted a fall in the volume shipped and hence their earnings declined despite some rise in unit price.

With the last quarter being winter, production in the North has declined thereby reducing the volume available for export.

Currently, with the second wave of Covid-19 erupting in some countries, forcing their resort to trade restrictions, India’s tea shipments are adversely affected.

Hence the possibility of making over the loss in exports in the last quarter is remote, some exporters said.

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Published on December 29, 2020
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