India Misses Billion Kilo Production Target


India’s Tea Board released figures showing the country narrowly missed its billion kilogram production target, a number that has eluded producers since 2006.

Output last year was estimated at 988.32 million kgs, a slight increase of 2 percent over 2010 when production topped 966.40 million kgs.

Demand within the country placed additional stress on exports which declined by 3.4 percent to 186.73 million kg. Exports were 193.29 million kgs in 2010.

It is the sixth year India missed the 1 billion mark. The country was once the leading exporter of tea but a combination of fierce competition on the global market and a growing thirst at home curtailed exports.

The India Tea Association anticipates a domestic shortfall of 45 to 50 million kgs. Demand is estimated to increase by 30 million kgs annually. Last year marked a 21.9 million kg increase.

While volume dropped, value rose according to Tea Board statistics.

The 2011 crop was valued at INRs 2,759.80 crore ($558 million) compared to INRs 2,595.20 crore ($525 million) in 2010. Tea averaged INRs 147.8 ($2.98) kg.

Source: India Tea Board, Money Control