India - Experts fear 50pc crop loss for tea industry

15.05.2024 68 views

The Tea Association of India has reported a significant wilting of tea bushes in the region due to a lack of rainfall and high temperatures.

The Secretary General of the Tea Association of India (TAI) P K Bhattacharjee stated that if immediate and sufficient rainfall is not received, the estimated crop loss could be over 50 per cent in the coming months.

As tea is a rain-fed crop, the lack of rainfall during these crucial months will impact the production of its premium first flush and second flush, severely affecting the cash flows of companies. Data released by the Tea Board of India indicates a drop in production of around 40 per cent in Assam and approximately 23 per cent in West Bengal up to March 2024, compared to the same period last year.

The average rainfall in both Assam and West Bengal was significantly low in February this year, with data from the India Meteorological Department showing a substantial decrease in rainfall ranging from 2 per cent to 76 per cent in major tea-growing districts of Assam and West Bengal from 1 March to 13 May, compared to normal levels.

Despite this crop loss, there has not been a corresponding strong price recovery. While there has been a marginal improvement in the all India auction average price in the last two sales, the weekly average price at all India auctions have been almost Rs 6 to Rs 33 lower in all sales since the beginning of this calendar year.

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