'India likely to fill up vacuum created by Lankan tea output fall'
KOLKATA: With embattled Sri Lanka witnessing a fall in tea production, India is likely to fill up the vacuum created by the island nation, the Tea Association of India (TAI) said.
TAI secretary general P K Bhattacharya said this is reflected by price rise of the orthodox variety produced by Indian tea planters, with auction realisation increasing sharply by about Rs 75 to Rs 100 per kg.
India produces around 110-120 million kg of orthodox tea annually, as against the normal Sri Lanka produce of 300 million kg.
The economic crisis in Sri Lanka has caused the fall in its orthodox tea production, he said.
TAI said that till July 2022, the production of orthodox tea in Sri Lanka fell by around 19 per cent as against the corresponding period of 2021.
Bhattacharya said if the present trend continues, Sri Lanka could end up with a fall in production of around 100 million kg of orthodox tea, and the resultant vacuum is likely to be met by the Indian producers.
Indian exporters have also been able to tap the markets in UAE and Iran, which are major orthodox tea consumers.
Rise in exports of Indian tea till July 2022 was around nine per cent, and total shipments during the year could be 200 million kg, TAI said.
UAE is a major consumer of Indian tea after the CIS countries - importing 15.86 million kg during January-June as against 6.76 million kg in the year-ago period.
Exports to Iran was 11.43 million kg in the reporting period compared to 10.04 million kg in the corresponding 2021 period, as per Tea Board data.