North Indian tea exports up 30% in May 2011

Tea exports from North India rose by 30% to 4.8 million kg in May 2011 on the back of increased demand from overseas markets and a decline in production in Kenya.

North India had exported 3.7 million kg of tea in the year-ago period, according to the tea board data.

"The season has started on a good note and we are getting a lot of queries from foreign buyers. Also since the Kenyan tea production has gone down, the buyers are coming to us for their requirement," Indian Tea Association Joint Secretary Sujit Patra told PTI.

According to industry analysts, Kenya -- a leading exporter of black tea -- reported a decline in tea output due to depressed and poorly distributed rainfall.

"This time our focus is on export of quality tea so that we can increase our unit realisation on per kg of tea," Patra noted.

On tea exports to Iran, he said the payment problem with the Persian Gulf Nation could hamper tea exports to that country and would result in loss of earnings.

"Tea exporters are facing payment problems from Iran. We export a special variety of orthodox tea to Iran and this could be hampered because of payment problems," he pointed out.

According to the Tea Board Deputy Chairman, Roshni Sen, the Iran payment crisis issue is being taken up at the highest level.

The Iranian tea market is about 100 million kg and India exports about 15 million kg of tea to the West Asian country.

Following the imposition of US sanctions on Iran, the dollar and euro-based transactions with Iran have stopped, leading to a crisis over the mode for making payments

Money Control