Tea export on decline, says a Tea Board task-force member

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Ahmedabad, Feb 5 (PTI) Tea export from India isdecreasing and is likely to be around 170 million kg thisfiscal against the backdrop of growing domestic consumption, amember of the task force set up by the Tea Board of India saidtoday.

"Indian tea exports are expected to go down to 170million kg levels this fiscal compared to 180 million kg lastfiscal," said Parag Desai, a member of the task force set upby the Tea Board for re-branding of Indian tea in the globalmarket''.

India, which is among the largest tea producers in theworld, faces a stiff competition from Sri Lanka and Africancountries, he said.

"Every year the Indian bulk tea exports are going down,"Desai told reporters.

The target for export in 2009 was close to 200 millionkg, however it could not be achieved, he said.

India''s tea production in the FY 2010-11 is estimated tobe 950-970 million kg, and consumption would be close toaround 800 million kg.

"Due to superior quality and substantial price-hike, thedomestic market is becoming more viable for the Indian teaproducers, as compared to the exports," said Desai, who isalso the Executive Director (Sales and Marketing) with WaghBakri Tea group.

"The tea prices in India have gone up by about 15 percent in the last one year. However, there is a good domesticdemand for superior quality tea," he said.

According to Desai, the domestic tea consumption whichwas stagnant in the past has begun to rise 2 to 4 per centannually.

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