Kolkata: Indian Tea Association, China Tea Marketing Association, Indonesian Tea Marketing Association, Sri Lanka Tea Board and Japan Tea Association- the five bodies from five tea growing and consuming countries in Asia- have now come forward to form what is called The Asian Tea Alliance (ATA). The whole idea is to boost tea trade from these countries. ATA, which was floated in Guizhou in China, will now work towards enhancing tea trade, cultural exchanges, technology exchanges, promoting tea globally, enhancing global consumption of tea, while creating a sustainability agenda for the future of Asian tea. Earlier, Indian Tea Association and China Tea Marketing Association teamed up to promote green and black tea consumption in major tea markets of Europe, the US, Russia and West Asia, besides India and China.
Interestingly however, precisely the same time, the output of black tea has fallen significantly in India, which is the largest producer of black tea. This assumes significance in the wake of the fact that the overall world production has increased during this period. This is quite unusual as well. The overall production of black tea so far this year has risen to 172.55 million kg (mkg) from 158.73 mkg in the same period of 2018, up 8.71 per cent. Interestingly, India is the only country that has registered lower production. and the major loss of 35.43 per cent has happened in North India where the output has fallen by 2.53 mkg to 4.61 mkg. When it comes to South India, the increase has been only marginal — just 0.08 per cent as the output has risen by 0.02 mkg to reach 24.04 mkg. The drop in production in north India can be attributed to the Tea Board’s ban on production in winter months to do away with the sub-standard teas in the market.
India’s overall production so far has fallen to 28.65 mkg from 31.16 mkg, marking a loss of 2.51 mkg or 8.06 per cent. Except Dooars, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, all tea producing regions in the country have posted a decline in output so far this year.
Meanwhile, prices of teas have soared up by 10 per cent at the Guwahati auction centre and 30 per cent at the Kolkata auction centre in the first fortnight of April, compared with the same period last year. This clearly indicates that there is a strong demand. This has also put to rest the fears, mainly of tea producers, that prices may not head northward in the new season thanks to a large carry-over stock from last year....