In the first six months of 2021, India imported 12.16 million kg of cheap teas from Kenya, Nepal and other destinations, recording an annual increase of nearly 176%, according to a report by Economic times.
India, the world leader in tea production, imported 4.41 million kg of tea between January and June 2020.
This represents over 75% of India’s annual imports of 15.86 million kg in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country and its key industries.
Imports of tea to India are intended for re-export, but much of it is blended with Indian teas and sold nationwide at a lower price, industry insiders have said. HEY.
“Kenyan tea imports reached 5.02 million kg in the first six months of 2021, compared to 1.49 million kg in the same period last year. As Kenyan prices hover around $ 1.7 per kg compared to $ 2.5 per kg in India, the trade may have bought more volumes of Kenyan tea this year for re-export, ”said Sujit Patra, secretary of the Indian Tea Association (ITA). cited in report.
Industry experts have said that the quality and reputation of Indian teas suffers when mixed with cheap imported teas. The ITA urged the Tea Board to ensure that rules of origin are strictly observed and that multi-origin teas are not sold as Indian teas.
The ITA has also called on the government to set a minimum import price for teas entering India. This would ensure that the teas are imported at a cost greater than the cost of producing Indian teas, the body said.
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