A statement released by the tea board mentioned that the daily cup of tea may soon cost more, with the shortfall in production expected to push up prices this year. The official also mentioned that the board would focus on quality and compliance with new Food Safety and Standards Authority of India norms.
While addressing to media, S Soundararajan, Director of Tea Promotion, Tea Board, said that production in 2018 was 1,350 million kg. He said, “We expect the figure to be similar in 2019. Domestic consumption is also growing at 2.2 per cent year-on-year.As the fundamentals are good, prices are likely to firm up this year.”
He also added, “Prices should go up. We had stopped plucking in many states during December to February, which has led to a production shortfall of 25 million kg.”
He also mentioned that this would likely have a positive impact on the prices but the prices will not go up as expected last year.
He said they are also working on the e-auction, the official said a professor of IIM-Bangalore has been mandated to conduct a study on it. He said, “The study is likely to be completed shortly, and recommendations are expected to be submitted in April.”
About the increasing proportion of production by bought leaf factories (BLF), Soundararajan said this had created a low-end parallel market of sorts.