The year 2020 saw tea production and export bottoming out as the coronavirus pandemic swept the country stopping all business But the first few months of this year have produced no relief with production in North India, which accounts for the majority of production, showing a decline. The months of March and April respectively recorded a decrease in 35% and 25% production compared to the same period in 2019. The production cycle in northern India normally begins in February.
The industry considers 2020 an anomalous year due to the pandemic. Production is expected to drop by 25% in May. "At the end of the rains, towards the end of May, the damage has already been done by the drought. We expect a loss of 60 million kg for the period from March to May," said Sujit Patra, secretary of the Indian Tea Association.
In the case of southern India, tea production in the period January-April 2021 was 16.87 million kg higher than in the corresponding period of the previous year, given the better agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the growing regions of you. But Prashant Bhansali, president of the United Planters' Association of Southern India (UPASI) said comparing the crop to the previous year would be misleading as production during 2020 was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If the current production trend continues, we could see South Indian production return to levels reached in 2014 and 2015. However, due to the second wave of the pandemic and its impact on plantations, the crop is expected to be lower in Kerala in May and Tamil Nadu in June, "he said.
Although a normal monsoon is expected, production in the second half of the year will depend on how the weather is maintained. `` But many plantations are reporting an improvement in the quality of the tea produced now. Hence, we expect a better harvest after June-July,” Patra said.
Also last year, the second half of the year saw an improvement in production. Overall tea production stood at 1257.53 million kg in 2020, a decline of nearly 10% year-over-year, according to Tea Board data.