INDIA - Wholesaler and online retailer Indi Khanna of Tea’n’Teas offers this assessment of the 2014 India tea harvest.
“In the north of the country, although there was a drop in crop during the first half of the year, the overall averages have been marginally higher. While both CTC and orthodox quality teas sold at premiums throughout the season, at the other end of the spectrum, the inferior sorts continued to be heavily discounted. While Darjeelings continued to meet with good demand, overall there was a decline in price levels compared to 2013. Exports fell but the domestic market remained buoyant throughout the season and this augers well for the industry being ample proof of the market having an appetite for quality teas and having the ability to pay for the quality.
“In the south, buyers were very selective, bought the good teas and dumped those that did not meet their requirements. As the season progressed, average prices kept dropping fairly substantially, particularly for the medium and plainer kinds. Buying patterns for the best CTCs and Orthodox teas remained rather irregular, with export activity being totally dependent and driven by conditions in other origins (for example Mombasa). The major losers of this trend were the medium and plainer teas, which saw a very erratic export enquiry throughout the year.”