Tea production rises 3%, exports up 17%

Kolkata: Tea production in India rose three percent to 1,233.14 million kg during the last fiscal as compared to 1197.18 million kg produced in 2014-15, the Tea Board of India said on Friday. The board said tea exports in 2015-16 stood at 232.92 million kg valued at Rs 4493.10 crore, breaching the 230 million kg mark after 35 years. "As compared to 2014-15, the quantity of tea exports increased by 33.84 million kg or, 17 per cent, while in value terms, the increase is by Rs 669.46 crore or, 17.51 percent," the board said. It said that India had exported 231.74 million kg in 1980-81. Prior to that, during 1976-77 and 1956-57, the country exported 242.42 and 233.09 million kg respectively. The increase of tea exports was registered mainly to Russia, Iran, Germany, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE and Poland. According to the Tea Board, the increase in production of tea was mainly due to increase in production in North India by 52.74 million kgs (5.52 per cent).  However, South India's production declined by 16.78 million kg (-6.95 percent) due to adverse climatic conditions and labour issues in Kerala. The all-India production of tea estates increased by 1.62 percent, while the production of the bought leaf factory (BLF) sector increased by 5.81 per cent, which indicates an increase of small tea growers' share in production. About 33.85 percent of the total tea production is being contributed by small growers. CTC tea production which constitutes 90.93 per cent of the total production was at 1121.35 million kg, increasing by 23.19 million kg compared to last year.  Orthodox production constituting 7.51 per cent of total production stood at 92.60 million kg, increasing by 8.47 million kg as against last year. Green tea production constitutes 1.56 per cent and stood at 19.19 million kg, increasing by 4.30 million kg. The average price realisation and quantity sold at tea auctions throughout India also registered an increase of 8.05 per cent and 17.82 per cent respectively as compared to the last financial year.