India's share in world tea exports declines 2% in 2005-09
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Kolkata, Nov. 23, 2010
Between 2005 and 2009, India's share in world tea exports declined from 15 per cent to 13 per cent, while China's share during the same period increased from 16 per cent to 19 per cent and Kenya's from 19 to 22 per cent, according to a study by the Indian Tea Association (ITA).
In 2005, China pipped India to become the world's largest producer of tea. In 2009, China's export was around 300 million kg including 230 million kg of green tea as against India's 197 million kg, entirely black tea. In 2010, China's exports, according to official sources, will rise two per cent over 2009 figure.
The major buyers of Indian tea are Iraq and CIS (21 per cent each), Iran and the United Arab Emirates (13 per cent), the UK and Ireland (11 per cent), Pakistan (7 per cent), the US and Canada (4 per cent), Afghanistan (4 per cent), Kenya (4 per cent), Germany and the Netherlands (3 per cent), Poland and Australia (2 per cent each) and others (7 per cent).
China's major export markets are Morocco, the European Union, Japan and the US. China's exports of flower tea and fermented tea produced in South-West Yunan province are showing a downward trend, according to the country's first tea report launched by the China Social Science Academy Press.
The ITA report identifies India's export bottlenecks as dominance of large producers (as much as 74 per cent) saddled with high cost structure owing to high fixed overheads and social cost, seasonality of the bulk of production (as much as 75 per cent), heavy dependence on weather with climatic variations resulting in inconsistent quality and location of tea estates being away from ports raising the transport and freight costs.
India's export strategy, according to ITA, therefore should aim at increasing the ratio of value-added to bulk tea exports, increasing the unit price of both bulk and value-added tea and broad-basing the export markets instead of overdepending on a few countries.
Other initiatives should include creation of infrastructure like tea parks, residue tasting laboratories, improving quality of tea, more incentives for larger production of orthodox tea including organic tea, individual scheme for exporters such as DEPB (duty entitlement pass book scheme), Vishesh Krishi and Gram Udyog Yojana, and brand-building and promotion.