New Delhi: Tea production fell by 4 million kg in July to 126.98 million kg on a decline in output mainly in West Bengal, though higher realisation pushed up the export of the commodity marginally, according to the Tea Board.
The decline in production in July widened the shortfall in output by close to 16 million kg at 460.88 million kg, as tea crop was dented in April and May due to drought in parts of the largest producing state of Assam.
“The country produced 126.98 million kg in July mainly due to a dip in output in West Bengal, compared with 130.95 million kg in the same month last year. Moreover, the output till July this year stood at 460.88 million kg against 476.63 million kg in the year-ago period,” a Board official said.
Interestingly, production in drought-hit Assam rose marginally in July from the level last year.
Tea export rose to 19.47 million kg in July from 18.53 million kg a year before. The overseas shipment from January to July at 94.02 million kg, however, lagged the last year level of 109.30 million kg.
In value terms, however, the rise in export is more significant. India exported tea worth close to Rs1,258.07 crore till July this fiscal, compared with Rs1,161.60 crore in the year-ago period despite a dip in volume.
An industry official said high prices of Indian tea in the global market due to a surge in demand has boosted the export in value terms. The average price rose to Rs133.80 a kg till July from Rs106.27 in the year before.