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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Gujaratis to sip 20% more Assam Tea

This reported in Daily News & Analysis, by Antika Pathak

Gujaratis are fond of tea. The bonding between the beverage and the people of the state is so strong that tea comes first to a person’s mind whatever the occasion may be.

That is perhaps why Gujarat accounts for the highest consumption of tea in India.

And looking at the current market, the consumption of tea, particularly Assam tea, in Gujarat is expected to rise. So Gujarat is going to order 20% more Assam tea by the year-end.

According to Ahmedabad Tea Merchant Association president HT Agrawal, 75% of tea consumed in Gujarat is being brought from Assam but since the demand for this particular tea is rising, the procurement amount will go up by 20%.

“We currently procure around 45 million kg tea from Assam, which is expected to increase to around 55 million kg,’’ he said.

He said almost 12% of Assam produce is procured by Gujarat. And from the auction centre at Guwahati, Gujarat procures around 60% of tea, said
Ashok Relia, adviser and senior committee member of the association.

While Gujarat gets 75% of its tea requirement from Assam, it gets the remaining quantity from the South and West Bengal. But since the demand for tea, particularly Assam tea, is rising, the price is also likely to go up.

“A rise of around Rs15 per kg is expected in Assam tea. Also, the production of good quality tea seems to have gone down and this is to push up the tea prices,” said Agrawal.

Assam produces best quality tea. That is why people of the state love it.

Association officials say while the demand is growing, the procurement is not keeping pace so the demand-supply mismatch will increase the prices by 5-10% in case of Assam tea by the year-end.

“The demand-supply mismatch would increase the price by 5-10%,” said Relia.

Currently, the prices of Assam tea are in the range of Rs185 per kg to Rs250 per kg.

With 65 million kg of tea, Gujarat accounts for 8% of tea consumed in India in a year. India consumes around 800 million kg in year.

“The per capita monthly consumption of tea in Gujarat has already increased from 1.2 kg to 1.4kg, and by the end of the year Gujarat’s tea consumption is likely to cross 70 million kg,’’ said Relia.

He said that Punjab, Chandigarh and J&K come next in tea consumption.

A delegation of 33 members of Ahmedabad Tea Merchant Association recently visited Assam to get first-hand knowledge about the production of various types of tea in the north-eastern state.

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