Darjeeling tea losing out in global trade

Darjeeling tea trade
Kolkata: Darjeeling tea trade, which has lost its premium first flush tea due to the first 21-day lockdown that began on March 25, is facing problem in sending samples of second flush teas to its major importing countries like Germany and Japan as international couriers are yet to start full-fledged operations. These countries, which have been buyers of first flush teas from Darjeeling for decades, first want to check the quality before placing order.

Iran, which had bought, around 54 million kg of teas in 2019 has also started placing good orders with the tea exporters which has resulted in orthodox tea prices moving up by Rs 30 -40 per kg in comparison to last year.

With 87 gardens, the Darjeeling tea industry depends on the premium quality first flush tea for sustenance, as it fetches the highest price in domestic and foreign markets. Nearly 35% of Darjeeling industry’s annual revenue is generated from the sale of first flush teas which is produced between March 15 and April 15 and can fetch a price anything between Rs 1,200 to Rs 20,000 per kg or even more. Darjeeling annually produces 8 -8.5 million kg of teas.

Talking to ET, Binod Mohan, chairman, Darjeeling Tea Association said: “We have lost the first flush business. Now we are trying to export second flush teas. But there is logistics problem as the international couriers not operating. Buyers from Germany and Japan are asking for sample of teas but we are not being able to send them. Meanwhile, of the 87 tea estates in Darjeeling, four estates are yet to reopen. The estates have reopened on April 20 and are working with 25% workforce.” 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Darjeeling tea trade, which has lost its premium first flush tea due to the first 21-day lockdown that began on March 25, is facing problem in sending samples of second flush teas to its major importing countries like Germany and Japan

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