Tea production in north India to decline

Production in Assam also declined in May and June this year due to a pest attack, ITA said in a statement.

"The tea industry continues to see adverse weather and slow recovery of large areas in Assam which had been severely impacted due to Helopeltis pest attacks in the earlier months. July production - as revealed from quick estimates on the basis of reports from ITA members show a further decline of 2 million kgs during the month," it said.

The crop situation particularly in Upper Assam (concentrated in the Doom Dooma area) has been severely affected with nearly all the major tea groups operating in that region namely Apeejay Tea, Assam Co, M.K. Shah Exports, McLeod Russell and Warren Tea reporting significantly lower production.

"The decline of around 2 million kgs as reported by the membership of the ITA could translate to an overall decline in the north Indian crop by around 4/5 million kgs during the month."

It is apprehended that with this decline and with the outlook in August also reportedly uneven - with poor weather persisting in several parts - it would be difficult to make up the already significant decline of 10 million kgs which has been registered to date in north India.

"With only 5 months of the tea season left including the tail-end production of November and December it is likely that the North Indian tea production may fall short of the 735 million kgs registered in 2009," it said.

Recently Tea Board of India said it does not expect any tea production growth in 2010 due to erratic rains in the hills of north eastern India.

"On a conservative estimate we can say that this year's crop won't be more than last year's level," Basudeb Banerjee, chairman, Tea Board of India, had said.

Last year the total production was 979 million kgs.

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