The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for tea rose by 79% on an annual basis in the month of August. Retail prices have been much lower however.
Under the current WPI series, this is the highest rise in tea prices.
The hike in tea prices is mainly due to the drop in production for nearly a month from March end to early May during the lockdown imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Extended rainfall this year has also resulted in the same, said tea producers.
“This year, from April-end till now, we have sold around 49 million kg whereas last year we had sold nearly 63 million kg during the same period,” said Priyanuz Dutta, Secretary of Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC).
According to officials, the recent hike in prices is being considered a positive development for the tea industry.
“The current rise in prices have come as a boost to the tea industry as the industry was in dire straits due to lower prices in the last few years,” said Kamal Kishore Tiwari, chairman of Siliguri Tea Auction Committee.