NEW DELHI : India’s tea exports declined over 20 per cent over the past five years to around 200 million kilograms. To put it into context, from 2017-18 to 2021-22, annual exports of the beverage declined from 256.67 million kg to 200.79 million kilograms.
In terms of volume, it, however, rose by 7 per cent to Rs 5,412 crore.
“There was a decline in export of tea in last few years. Reportedly, this was due to nonavailability of containers, dislocation in shipping schedules, lock-down and uncertainty in the market due to covid-19 and disruptions in overall global trade,” Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Smt Anupriya Patel informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday in reply to a question on the tea trade.
On whether any consignment of Indian tea was rejected by some countries recently, the minister said that the Indian Tea Exporters’ Association has confirmed to the Tea Board that no return of any tea consignment was reported.
Notably, for several years now, India’s tea industry has been struggling with issues such as rising input costs, relatively stagnant consumption, subdued prices, and weak exports. The tea business is cost-intensive, where 60-70 per cent of the total investment is fixed cost.
India’s tea sector employs around 1.2 million workers and contributes 23 per cent to the global output.
On efforts taken to promote the trade of Indian tea, the minister said: “It has been a continuous endeavour of the Tea Board and tea industry to strategize ways and means to ensure the quality of tea being exported from India.”