India tea imports down 22 per cent in April-July, 2011

NEW DELHI: India's tea imports declined by 22 per cent to 5.19 million kg in the April-July period of the current fiscal.

The country had imported 6.62 million kg of the brew in the same period last fiscal, as per data released by the Tea Board.

India, the world's largest consumer of tea, imports the leaves solely for the purpose of re-export to other countries. The dip in imports thus signals less re-exports.

India's tea imports from China, Kenya, Malawi, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Iran, Argentina and Nepal declined in the first four months of the 2011-12 fiscal.

Imports of tea dipped by 19 per cent in July, 2011, to 1.67 million kg from 2.06 million kg in the year-ago period.

In the January-July period of the current calender year, imports of the brew fell by 19 per cent to 9.42 million kg from 11.64 million kg in the same period of the previous year.

India, the second biggest producer of tea in the world, accounts for about 28 per cent of global tea production and 14 per cent of trade. There are about 1,600 tea estates in India. The industry employs more than two million people.

Source: Economic Times