Tea exports grow by a record 15 m kg in November

While the global meltdown casts its shadow over several sectors, Indian tea industry remains unaffected. Tea exports have recorded a

growth of 15 million kg till the end of November in 2008. Though the production has come down in the winter season, the industry is expecting a higher export than last year.

The tea exports stood at 175 million kg and that compared with 160 million kg in the 11-month period of the previous year. For the year 2008-09, exports are higher by 8 million kg at 124 million kg for the eight month period from April to November. The Union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh recently said that the tea export will touch 200 million kg in FY09.

The traditional markets like Russia are active in the market. With Kenyan tea production still showing a shortfall, Pakistan is buying from India. After the 26/11 terror attack, there was a lull in exports to Pakistan. But the exports have picked up in the last few weeks, said Krishnakumar J Shah. “The buyers pay 50% of the amount after clinching the order and rest after delivery,” he said.

Among other buyers, Iran and Iraq are going strong. The export to Egypt is expected to go up once the India tea promotion centre starts functioning by March. Iraq was the largest buyer of Indian tea in 2006. Meanwhile, country’s tea production is up by nearly 28 million kg till the end of November in 2008.