Poor rains hit Conoor tea output | SupportBiz

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Poor rains hit Conoor tea output

Tea put up for auction at Conoor beginning Thursday, a key market for tea growers in southern India, was closer to the 11-week low, of 12.91 lakh kgs, because of poor rains, according to a local tea grower. 13 lakh kgs of tea was itemized for the two day auction at the Connoor Tea Trade Association, according to a news report.

Weekly output fluctuations are a natural occurrence in the trade of any agricultural commodity and poor rains during the Monsoon season have hit tea production in the region, the grower said requesting anonymity.

Of the 13 lakh kg on offer, 9.57 lakh kg belong to the leaf grades and 3.43 lakh kg to the dust grades. As much as 12.1 lakh kg belong to the CTC variety and only 0.9 lakh kg to the orthodox variety, Business Line reported Wednesday.

“Some news reports tend to hype certain facts and ignore the larger picture,” said the tea grower.

Conoor-based tea growers have benefitted from an almost 100 percent jump in the average per kg price of tea, at some INR80 a kilo now, since  2007, the grower said. But issues such as rising costs; returns not meeting production expenses and the wildlife scare to tea gardens and plantations persist.

India, the world’s second largest producer of tea after China, wants small growers to plant more tea bushes and large growers to replant older bushes amid stagnating production, unfavorable weather being cited as the reason for the problem, according to a SupportBiz report.