Mumbai: India’s tea output fell for a second straight month in July after a pest attack trimmed crop size in the biggest producing region of the country, hardening local prices, Tea Board said in a statement on Friday.
Tea output in July fell 3.15% to 123 million kg from 127 million kg a year ago, it said. The output in June had fallen by 11.9% to 104 million kg.
A pest attack of helopeltis adversely affected tea gardens in the northeastern state of Assam, India’s top producer.
“Impact of pest attack has been easing. August production numbers are likely to be steady to slightly lower,” said an official at Calcutta Tea Traders’ Association.
Despite a drop in June and July production, the south Asian country’s tea output in Jan-July stood at 462.2 million kg, up 0.45% on year due to higher crop in Jan-April.
Tea prices of different grades in the world’s second biggest producer have risen by nearly a tenth in the past two months on a supply squeeze.
Tea Board chairman Basudeb Banerjee told Reuters in July that the country’s tea output in 2010 is likely to fall below 2009 level.
India exports CTC variety of tea, mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK, and the premium orthodox variety of tea to Iraq, Iran and Russia.