Kolkata: Exports of tea from India registered a fall of around 14.4 per cent in the first seven months of 2021 as compared to the same period last year.

Total exports of the beverage during January to July of 2021 was 100.78 million kilograms as against 117.56 million kilograms in the same period of 2020, according to Tea Board data.

Though the CIS block remained the largest importer of tea at 24.14 million kilograms, down from 30.53 million kilograms in the previous similar period.

Though shipments to Iran was substantially down due to the sanctions, the Persian country imported 12.63 million kilograms in the first seven months of this year, as against 21 million kilograms in 2020.

Exports to China were also lower at 3.29 million kilograms from 5.74 million kilograms in the first seven months of 2020.

Offtake by UK was also less during the period, the data showed at 3.12 million kilograms in the current period.

The only exceptions are USA and UAE where exports registered an increase this period of 2021.

Secretary-general of India Tea Association (ITA) Arijit Raha said that this is because exports to Iran, which was once a big buyer of Indian tea, was lower due to the sanctions by the US.

The other prime reason is non-availability of shipping containers which have become very expensive during the COVID times.

The value of tea exports in the first seven months of this year was higher at Rs 2,735 crore as against Rs 2,635 crore in the previous similar period.

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