The country's tea output saw a marginal increase in the first half of the fiscal because of higher production in north India.
According to the data released by the tea board, the country's tea production in the first six months of 2012-13 stood at 690.31 million kg as against 688.87 million kg during the first half of 2011-12.During the year 2011-12, tea production stood at 966.63 million kg and during 2010-11, production touched 991.18 million kg.
Tea production in north India, which comprises major tea-growing regions of Assam and West Bengal, rose by 1% to 562.67 million kg in April-September of 2012-13 fiscal compared to 559.82 million kg in the year-ago period. Production declined marginally in south India to 127.64 million kg as against 128.85 million kg in the same period of last fiscal. South India witnessed one of longest duration of dry spell, which resulted in crop loss.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said global tea prices are set to be firm this year on the back of robust black tea demand exceeding supply. Global black tea production is estimated to grow at 1.87 % annually in the next 10 years— slower than the 1.99 % growth pace over the previous decade -- to reach 3.28 million tonne by 2021.
Reports suggest that India consumes about 25 % of total tea production in the world, and over 75-80 % of its own production. Domestic consumption during 2011 is estimated around 856 million kg or a per capita consumption of 720 gm.
India exports CTC tea mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK and the premium orthodox variety to Iraq, Iran and Russia. According to reports, tea exports look very encouraging this year unlike the last year where the world demand was tweaked by internal disturbance in WANA (West Asia and North Africa region).