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Tea Industry

Tea Industry and Exports in India 
India is the second-largest producer of tea globally. Indian tea is one of the finest in the world due to strong geographical indications, heavy investment in tea processing units, continuous innovation, augmented product mix, and strategic market expansion. As of a 2018 survey, a total of 6.37 lakh hectares of area was cultivated in India for tea production. India is also among the world's top tea consuming countries, with 80% of the tea produced in the country consumed by the domestic population. India's total tea production for the calendar year 2020 was 1,257.52 million kg and for the financial year 2020-21 it was 1,283 million kg. In May 2022, India’s tea production stood at 127.11 million kgs, and it was at 91.77 million kg in April 2022. From January-September 2022, India’s tea production stood at 984.67 million kg.
The northern part of India is the biggest producer at about 83% of the country's annual tea production in 2021-22 with the majority of the production coming from Assam followed by West Bengal. The Assam valley and Cachar are the two tea producing regions in Assam. In West Bengal, Dooars, Terai and Darjeeling are the three major tea producer regions. The southern part of India produces about 17% of the country's total production with the major producing states being Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka.
India is among the top 5 tea exporters in the world making about 10% of the total exports. In the year 2021, the total value of tea exports from India was around US$ 687.9 million. Indian Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri tea are considered one of the finest in the world. The majority of the tea exported out of India is black tea which makes up about 96% of the total exports. The types of tea exported through India are: Black tea, Regular tea, Green tea, Herbal tea, Masala tea and Lemon tea. Out of these, black tea, regular tea and green tea make up approximately 80%, 16% and 3.5% of the total tea exported from India.
India's total tea exports during 2021-22 in quantity was 201 million kg. The total exports during January-April 2022 was 65 million kg and was valued at US$ 215 million, a 9% increase from the same period in 2021. The exports from India in terms of quantity for the period January-December 2021 was 197 million kg with the total export value of US$ 718 million (a 1.7% increase from 2020). During the financial year 2021-22 period (between April-November 2021), India exported tea worth US$ 458.88 million. India's export price per kilogram has seen a steady increase over the years. During 2021-22, the unit price of tea was US$ 3.62 per kg. This, in the previous year was US$ 3.52. From 2018-19, the price per unit of tea exported out of India has increased by 17% in 2021-22. This has allowed the country to have a better profitability out of the exported goods.
From April 2022-June 2022, India’s total tea exports stood at 65.19 million kgs, this was valued at US$ 236.36 million, a rise of US$ 19.77 million as compared to the same period previous year.
India exports tea to more than 25 countries throughout the world. Russia, Iran, UAE, USA, the UK, Germany, and China are some of the major importers of tea from India. During 2021-22 Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan imported 32.5 million kg, 1.68 million kg and 6.48 million kg of tea from India. The share of Indian exports to the CIS nations during that period was 21% (42.5 million kg) of the total exports. Iran, UAE and USA are among India's top tea export destinations. During 2021-22, the three countries imported 29.3 million kg, 23.3 million kg and 13.5 million kg of tea from India. The value of total exports to these countries combined was US$ 277.3 million during the same period.
During 2021-22, the exports to Germany, USA, UAE and Ireland increased by 14%, 12%, 70% and 17% respectively over the previous year. Some of India's other tea export destinations are Poland, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Japan, Pakistan and Australia, etc. All these countries combined accounted for US$ 116 million of tea exports from India contributing to 16% of the tea export revenue for the year 2021-22.
To help the Indian exporters market teas of Indian origin in overseas markets on a sustained basis, the Tea Board of India started a scheme: Promotion for packaged Tea of Indian origin. The scheme provides assistance in promotional campaigns - up to 25% of the cost reimbursement, display in International Departmental Stores, product literature and website development, and inspection charges reimbursement of up to 25% of the charges.
The Tea Board also provides subsidies to the domestic exporters to participate in International Fairs and Exhibitions. The aim is to provide a platform to the exporters to showcase their products in international events for promotion and facilitate the generation of trade opportunities.
Tea Development and Promotion Scheme
This scheme was launched in November 2021 by the Tea Board of India for the period of 2021-26. The objective of this scheme is to enhance the productivity and quality of the production in India. There are seven important components to this scheme,
  • Plantation development of small tea farmers
  • Creation of sector specific actions plan for North East India
  • Supporting the tea producers and trader in market promotion activities
  • Worker's welfare
  • Research and development activities
  • Regulatory reforms
  • Establishment expenses
Tea Board of India
The Tea Board of India was set up in 1953 for the development of tea industry in India. It started functioning in 1954. The board is located in Kolkata and has 17 offices across India. Being the regulatory body, the Board exerts control over the producers, manufacturers, exporters, tea brokers, auction organizers and warehouse keepers through various control orders notified under Tea Act. The responsibilities of the board are increasing production and productivity, improving the quality of tea, market promotion, and welfare measures for plantation workers and supporting Research and Development.
Besides the development and regulatory framework, the Tea Board of India also undertakes direct promotional activities, including organizing joint participation in international fairs and exhibitions, arranging buyer and seller meets, and sending and hosting trade delegations. It also conducts market surveys, analyzes, identifies and tracks consumer behavior, and provides relevant and accurate information to the importers and exporters.

Source: India Brand Equity Foundation

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