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The Reserve Bank of India's move to put in place a mechanism to settle international trade in rupees will boost tea and basmati rice exports to Russia and Iran, where they had been facing problems over payment. Russia and Iran are major buyers of Indian tea and the latter is also a major destination for basmati rice. Both these countries are facing Western sanctions.
India annually exports around 45 million kg of teas to Russia. But due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the sanctions from the US and Europe, tea exports have fallen by 10% to the country in January-April against the same period last year.
Mohit Agarwal, director, Asian Tea, a leading tea exporting firm, said "The government's move will help to sort out the payment issue. It will not only increase tea exports to Russia and Iran but will also help India to increase its tea exports to the UAE, Kazakhstan and China, and will remove the currency risk from our balance sheets."