Heightened US-Iran tensions may hit Indian tea export

Heightened US-Iran tensions may hit Indian tea export

Iran is currently the single largest importer of Indian orthodox tea after the CIS countries

Representative image. (iStock images)

The tea industry has expressed concern over the possibility of exports to Iran taking a hit in the wake of spiraling tensions between the US and the other country.

Iran's Major General Qasim Soleimani was killed in a US drone attack on Friday, which ratcheted up acrimony between the arch-enemies and sparked fears of a new war in the Middle East.

"There will be an impact if there is a conflict between the US and Iran. Orthodox tea exports will suffer," Tea Board Chairman P K Bezbaruah told PTI.

Iran is currently the single largest importer of Indian orthodox tea after the CIS countries.

Till November 2019, exports to Iran stood at 50.43 million kg, while shipments to the CIS block was at 52.80 million kg, Tea Board data showed.

"Last year, the orthodox tea exporters switched over to the Iranian market in a big way because of higher value realisation," he said.

Former ITA chairman and MD & CEO of Goodricke Group Atul Asthana said, "If there is a conflict, there will be no exports of tea to Iran".

Officials, however, said that if exports to Iran do suffer, then the industry can take a relook at the CIS countries, but at a lower price realisation.

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