The Strategist

India, Kenya report problems with tea harvesting

04/15/2020 - 03:23

Suspension of work in India and Kenya in connection with the pandemic resulted in a break in tea harvesting. Global demand for it is already growing; for example, it increased by 55% in March in the UK.

Tea producers and traders warn of a possible shortage of the most valuable varieties, according to the Financial Times (FT). The quarantine announced in late March in India due to coronavirus disrupted harvesting of the first tea crop in the Indian regions of Assam and Darjeeling, where varieties of the same name are grown and produced. The plantations were left untouched and the tea leaves grew too much.

Now that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an extension of quarantine, the second tea harvest is also at risk. Head of the Tea Council of India, Prabhat Bezbaruah, told to FT, “a huge part of the crop will be lost” and “many plantations will have serious problems.”

Tea manufacturers may miss 150 thousand tons of tea, or 10% of the total volume.

In Kenya, where there is a partial lockdown, there were problems with the delivery of collected tea from plantations to ports and from there - abroad. This was reported to FT by Mintec analyst Ibi Idoniboye. According to him, in the next three to six months there will be disruptions in the supply of Kenyan tea to other markets.

Demand for tea in the world has already risen sharply. For example, in the UK, tea sales in March grew by 55% compared to the same period last year.