India’s tea exports are expected to cross 200 million kg during the current fiscal, with Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan taking a particular liking for the Indian cuppa. The average price is also expected to be firmer this year at Rs 90 a kg, giving Indian tea exporters something to cheer about.
While export to Egypt has seen a big jump from 3-4 million kg to 20 million kg, export to Pakistan has peaked to 16 million kg from the usual 8-10 million kg. Iraq too has imported 20 million kg this year. Exports to Iran have been to the tune of 10 million kg. India’s total tea exports in 2007-08 were 190 million kg, while average price during the year was Rs 76 a kg.
Tea Board of India, the nodal tea promotion body, claims that before the economic slowdown took shape, India’s tea export was expected to touch the 210 million kg mark during 2008-09.
Besides exports, the government is keen to set up a single e-auction platform for tea, integrating the operations of individual tea auction centres at Kolkata, Siliguri, Guwahati, Jalpaiguri, Coonoor, Coimbatore and Kochi by September 2009. The existing auction centres will subsequently be converted into warehouses and distribution centres and the workforce redeployed after training.