Industry sources said tea exports dropped by almost 10% during 2023 as India has been facing challenges in some of the traditional markets, including Iran. Iraq, Turkey and Jordan have emerged as the new destinations for Indian tea exports where Indian tea is replacing Sri Lanka’s
India’s depressed tea exports in FY23 on global turmoil has a silver lining with exporters making inroads in new markets which have not been explored in the past.
S. B. Shah, chairman of leading tea exporter Shah Brothers, said on Friday that Iraq, Turkey and Jordan have emerged as the new destinations for tea exports where Indian tea is replacing Sri Lanka’s.
Mr. Shah said the exporters had taken huge risks to enter these markets and shipments were likely to pick up from next year.
Industry sources said tea exports dropped by almost 10% during FY23 as India had been facing challenges in some of the traditional markets, including Iran. Tea exports had registered almost 15% growth in FY22 at 226.98 million kg.
Mr. Shah said tea auction prices as well as exports remained depressed this year due to geo-political tensions, particularly because of the war in West Asia and Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Auctioneers set up ATA
In another development, tea auctioneers from across the country came together to set up the Association of Tea Auctioneers (ATA) which will work also for the smooth functioning of the auctioning system in the country. The Indian Tea Auction system sells about 40% of all the tea produced in the country with the auctioneers playing a major role.
According to the ATA, the primary activities of the association will be to promote the welfare and safeguard the rights and the interests of the tea auctioneers in both North and South India and deal in all matters connected with the auctioneers and the auction process in India. As many as 13 tea auctioneers, licensed by the Tea Board, including majors auctioneers like J Thomas, Contemporary Brokers and Parcon, formed the ATA.
“ATA is going to be the first-of-its-kind institution of registered auctioneers in India and will work for the interest of tea auction and other stakeholders of the industry,” said Sujit Patra, Secretary, ITA.
The erstwhile practice of manual auction of tea has been replaced with electronic auction since 2008-09 and the system is now prevalent in both North and South India.
The ATA on Friday also arranged a ceremonial manual auction of about 650 lots of Assam orthodox tea totalling 3.60 lakh kg. The auction of orthodox tea was held after a gap of 12 years. In the age of e- auction, the historic event witnessed buyers putting in bids and the winner of the auction being declared by the hitting of a hammer.