KOLKATA, India, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Indian tea exporters see little chance of a rise in the export of the brew in 2012 compared to last year, with the continuing Iran payment crisis and deficient rainfall in India's northeast likely to hit production, according to local media reports Friday.
As a result, the surplus available for trading in foreign markets could be low, said an English daily published here. Some leading exporters of India, including the world's second largest tea producer, even fear that the total tea export might fall as a lot of producers of the brew from southern India have recently shifted to (crush-tear-and-curl process) CTC tea from orthodox ( another manufacturing process that gives good flavor and aroma).
This has followed a sharp fall in the export of the Orthodox variety due to the payment crisis in Iran and the political turmoil in Middle Eastern and North African countries like Libya, Syria and Egypt.
Iran is a major consumer of high quality orthodox tea from India and imports nearly 15 million kg every year, but India's tea exports to the country declined to about 11 million kg in 201l as sanctions imposed by the United Sates made settling of trade payments tougher.
As the Iran payment crisis still persists, there is less scope for export this year. "I think the total tea export from the country would be hovering between 185 million kg to 190 million kg in 2012," according to Kamal Baheti, director of the world's largest tea producer McLeod Russel.
According to Tea Board of India data, the country's total export of the brew stood at 186.73 million kg (estimated) during 2011 as against 222.02 million kg during 2010. The sharp fall in exports to the tune of 35.3 million kg last year was despite a rise in the total output to 988.33 million kg (estimated) in 2011 from 966.40 million kg in 2010.