Mumbai: India’s tea production in May dropped 12% from a year earlier to 91.41 million kg on a drop in plucking in the northern states due to extreme dry weather, the state-run Tea Board said on Wednesday.

A drop in output has been pushing up prices in the world’s second biggest producer and can reduce its exports.

Production in northern India fell 16.6% from a year earlier to 65.88 million kg, the board said in a statement.

Tea output in Assam is likely to fall by 10% in 2014 due to scanty rainfall and a sharp rise in temperatures, hitting exports of premium grade leaf from the world’s biggest black tea producer, industry officials said.

India exports CTC (crush-tear-curl) grade mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK, and the orthodox variety to Iraq, Iran and Russia. Reuters

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