Weather may Hit this Year’s Tea Production
While there has been no rain in Darjeeling gardens & Dooras, Assam is facing incessant rains
Kolkata: Erratic weather conditions in the major tea producing regions of Darjeeling, Dooars and Assam is likely to pull down tea production this year by 5-10%, industry executives said.
Darjeeling and parts of Dooars are witnessing a dry spell. On the other hand, tea gardens in Assam are facing incessant rains, which may bring down tea production in April by at least 10% from a year ago. “Darjeeling gardens are the worst hit. There is no rain in the area that produces the finest of Indian teas,” said AN Singh, managing director, Goodricke Group. “Ideally, by this time the gardens should have received 10 inches of rainfall. The gardens had received
some 2 inches of sporadic rainfall in March which was not enough.”
This continuous dry spell has already affected the famous first flush Darjeeling teas that are sold mostly overseas. “It is going to affect the second flush as well,” Singh said. The 87 tea estates in Fall in tea dust prices
Darjeeling produce 8.5-9 million kg annually. A part of Dooars has also not received rain which too will take a toll on the crop size, industry executives said.
“While the dry spell is affecting tea production in Darjeeling and Dooars, excessive rains in Assam has become a matter of concern to planters,” said Aditya Khaitan, managing director of McMeod Russel India. “A clearer picture on the extent of crop damage will emerge by the month end. But definitely there will be some crop loss in the second half of April.”
Singh puts the crop loss at 5-10%. “We are also worried over pest attack due to this erratic weather condition,” he said. India had produced 75.61 million kg of tea in April 2015. Meanwhile, prices of new-season teas have dropped at the auctions in comparison with last year. CTC prices are down by 7.64% while dust tea is fetching 3.5% less. Khaitan said that since production was high, buyers were on a wait-and-watch mode, which has affected prices. “But in April, production will be lower. Prices will remain firm,” he said.