Kolkata– Achieving a historic feat, the Indian tea industry recorded the highest ever production of 1,325.05 million kg as well as export of 256.57 million kg during financial year 2017-18, official figures released on Tuesday revealed.

The total tea production in 2017-18 went up by 74.56 million kg or 5.96 per cent, as compared to the corresponding figure in 2016-17, when India produced 1,250.49 million kg of tea, according to Tea Board India.

Similarly, the total quantity of tea exports during 2017-18 increased by 28.94 million kg or 12.71 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last year. Exports stood at 227.63 million kg in 2016-17.

The foreign exchange realised from tea exports was $785.92 million in 2017-18, a rise of $95.19 million or 13.78 per cent over 2016-17 when it had earned $690.73 million.

In rupee terms, the total value of the exports was pegged at Rs 5,064.88 crore during 2017-18.

The value realisation increased by Rs 432.38 crore or 9.33 per cent over 2016-17 (Rs 4,632.50 crore).

The growth in exports was majorly driven by five countries – Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia.

India’s tea export to Egypt during the last fiscal was at 12.69 million kg, up by 7.49 million kg or 144.04 per cent from 5.20 million kg exported in 2016-17 while export to Iran stood at 31.19 million kg in 2017-18, up by 28.67 per cent compared to previous fiscal.

India shipped out 16.09 million kg of tea to Pakistan during FY18, an increase of 4.96 million kg or 44.56 per cent from 11.13 million kg exported in FY17.

Exports to China also rose by a whopping 47.78 per cent to 9 million kg in 2017-18 while India’s exports to Russia went up by 6.39 per cent to 48.10 million kg.

The earlier record for the highest quantity of tea exports was during 1976-77 when the total quantity exported was 242.42 million kg.

According to Tea Board India, the trend towards a new record in exports was evident in calendar year 2017 itself as the total quantity of exports stood at 251.91 million kg, an increase of 29.46 million kg or 13.24 per cent over 2016, with value realisation at $766.06 million, rising by $100.90 million, a rise of 15.17 per cent.

During the calendar year 2016, the total exports were 222.45 million kg, with value realisation at $665.16 million.

In rupee terms, total exports in calendar year 2017 were at Rs 4,987.59 crore, up by 11.63 per cent from Rs 4,468.11 crore in 2016.

The previous highest export quantity for a calendar year was in 1981 when the total tea exports had reached 241.25 million kg. (IANS)

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