India’s tea exports are expected to rise by 13% to around 220-225 million kilograms (mkg) in 2022, driven by higher demand from the Russian Federation, CIS countries and West Asia, despite a sharp drop in purchases by major buyer Iran. India 195.5 million kilos were exported in calendar year 2021.
According to the Tea Board, tea exports for January-October 2022 rose 16% to 185.31kg, compared to 159.88kg in the same period last year.
Industry sources said exports could have been higher if things had been “normal” in Iran and it had received export orders as usual.
Fall even harder?
Iran, an important market for Indian orthodox tea, is the second largest buyer in 2021. Shipments to Iran fell nearly 9% to 19.52 mg between January and October 2022, compared with 21.45 mg last year. The drop in exports could be even bigger as Iran has stopped buying Indian tea for more than a month.
However, lower Iranian purchases were offset by higher demand from other buyers. N Lakshmanan Chettiar of Golden Hills Estates Pvt Ltd said: “Demand from Russia has improved and we have now exported a lot of tea to mainland Europe and the UAE.”
Total tea exports to the Russian Federation rose by almost 15 per cent to Rs 32.8 crore, estimated at nearly Rs 532 crore, during January-October 2022, compared to 28.57 mg worth Rs 515 crore last year. Exports to CIS countries rose by 18 per cent to 43.65 mg worth Rs 7.32 billion, against 36.95 mg worth Rs 6.82 billion, the Tea Board said.
Exports to the UAE rose sharply by 165 per cent to 32.95 mg at Rs 9.99 billion, up from 12.45 mg at Rs 3.11 billion.
According to sources, some tea shipments to Iran were sent via Dubai, leading to a surge in volumes. “We expect to export 220-225 milligrams for calendar year 2022. By October this year, we have exported around 185 milligrams,” Sujit Patra, secretary of the Tea Association of India, told reporters. career line.
According to industry sources, Iran has stopped issuing order registrations in the form required to import tea from India since the end of November. According to available reports from some tea buyers, the Iranian government’s Ministry of Agriculture has been prevented from issuing order registrations. Tea buyers have advised Indian exporters not to ship any tea consignments until further advice is received, sources said, as the customs department does not allow any shipments not registered with the order to enter any port in Iran and the consignments have to be returned to the country of origin.
While the reasons behind the development are unclear, industry sources say any suspension of exports to Iran would have a severe adverse impact on the Indian tea market and exports.