Raising concerns on scanty tea production in Assam and North Bengal due to drought and hailstorms alongside the spiralling cases of coronavirus pandemic, the Tea Association of India (TAI) on Wednesday has stated that the tea industry is likely to face another grim year.
TAI is expecting the crop figure for March to be lower by around 10-15% in the month of March and April 2021 as compared to 2019,
In an official release issued by TAI read, "The crop outlook for the Tea Industry at this point of the season looks bleak due to drought like situation prevailing in both the states of Assam and West Bengal, adding, the situation has even worsened due to the recent hailstorm in the Tea growing regions of North Bengal".
In case of Assam, the state had harvested only 0.23 Mkgs during the period of January-February, 2021, while, it had produced 0.27 MKgs in 2020 and 0.44 Mkgs year before.
While North Bengal has harvested only 1.92 Mkgs in the year 2021 as against 4.04 Mkgs in the year 2019 during the January-February period.
Further, Assam valley has received only 14.2 mm of rainfall during January February 2021 as against 28.47 mm in the year 2020, similarly Cachar region of Assam has received only 4.15 mm rainfall as against 8.3 mm last year during the same period, the release stated.
"Due to shortage of supply during the lockdown phase, Tea prices witnessed a surge in prices for a brief period in the year 2020. However, the price rise could not be sustained for a long period and Auction prices subsequently declined sharply in the last few Auction sales in 2020," the release added.
According to the TAI data, Assam produces around 4.5 % of its total crop in the month of March and around 6% in April which is around 32 Mkgs and 44 Mkgs respectively. However, this year the industry will be affected severely.
Similar data also implies for tea estates in North Bengal resulting in major losses for the tea industry. The situation has worsened due to the widespread damage caused by the recent hailstorm in the tea growing regions of North Bengal, TAI noted.