The average cost of tea at several tea auction centres in India rose to Rs 215.90 a kg till November 2020 from Rs 145.93 in January-November 2019, registering a 47.95 per cent hike compared to the same period of 2019, says Tea Board data.
Experts state that the increase of Rs 69.97 a kg on tea (Y-o-Y) at auction centres has been due to the belief of people who consider tea could boost immunity, particularly in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic.
Tea Board turns down proposal to allow imports at lower duty
Apart from this, lower availability due to a massive fall in production which rose from adverse weather, and COVID-19 lockdown resulted in the hike of prices at North Indian auctions.
The prices at auctions in the North rose by Rs 84.72 or 53.23 percent to Rs 243.87 a kg from Rs 159.15 in January-November 2019, Hindu BusinessLine reported. While demand by upcountry buyers for quality teas from the South led to the pushing up the prices in South Indian auctions.
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In South India auctions, the prices of tea rose by Rs 42.64 or 43.80 percent to Rs 140 a kg from Rs 97.36 in January-November 2019.
Meanwhile, the Indian Tea Board rejected a proposal to allow imports of tea at a lower customs duty after the production dropped amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Rejecting the proposal, the board said that it was a “one-off” year when the growers earned good prices for their produce.