Kolkata: India’s tea exports are not expected to slow in 2008-09 and will likely cross 200 million kg, minister of state for commerce and power Jairam Ramesh said on Wednesday, as the country looks for newer markets for the beverage.
“I see tea exports crossing 200 million kg in FY09 even under most pessimistic situation,” Ramesh told reporters.
In FY08, India exported 179 million kg of tea, according to Tea Board data, on lower shipments to Iraq following remittance problems.
Exports to traditional markets such as Russia were also expected to fall in the next few months on lesser imports due to the global financial crisis.
But India expects exports to Egypt to cross 15 million kg in the current fiscal, from an average of 4 million kg in the past few years, Ramesh said.
Similarly, exports to new markets such as Iran would touch 10 million kg, from a meagre 5 million kg a year ago, on successful promotion of Indian brand there, he said.
The country also expects exports to Iraq to recover from last year’s levels of about 3 million kg and touch 20 million kg in FY09 since earlier remittance problems were resolved, he added.
“We see a new market in America that is dominated by iced tea,” Ramesh added.
Next month, a delegation of industry and Central government officials would also promote Indian tea in Pakistan. Pakistan imported about 16 million kg last year, he said.
In 2007, the country produced 940 million kg of tea.