Darjeeling first flush tea may very well be scarce this yr, for the reason that April or first flush manufacturing, rendering the best high quality, has declined to 0.66 million kg from 0.92 million kg throughout the identical month final yr. This has occurred as a consequence of a chronic dry spell. Early plucking, most often for need of money, has additionally completed harm to the standard.
“In case of Darjeeling tea, it’s a Catch-22 scenario this season. High quality manufacturing requires due time for tea leaves to develop earlier than plucking. However, backyard homeowners being money starved will pluck early, although some gardeners can have clearly waited to get a great high quality,” Atul Asthana, managing director and CEO, Goodricke Group, informed FF. first flush crop fetches greater than 35% of a yr’s complete income of Darjeeling tea gross sales. However, this yr it could not be so due to decrease quantity and high quality, he stated.
Darjeeling first flush plucking usually takes place between March and April although some pluck throughout February-end as nicely. Manufacturing this season has been 50% low at 0.66 million kg, in comparison with the identical season in 2019 at 1.28 million kg (trade doesn’t need examine 2021 figures with 2020 as gardens have been closed from December 2019 to mid-April 2020). Most gardens homeowners have been money constrained since final yr’s first flush was additionally hit, forcing planters to “strike a steadiness between money circulation and high quality”, Asthana stated.
Nevertheless, West Bengal’s general manufacturing throughout April this yr was above 18 million kg, in comparison with a bit above 9 million kg throughout the identical month a yr in the past. Public sale costs in each March and April have been extra for the Jalpaiguri and Dinajpur varieties at Rs 144 a kg and 163 a kg, respectively, than that of the Darjeeling selection at Rs 135 a kg and 157 a kg, respectively, for purchased leaf factories.
Assam public sale costs in April for purchased leaf factories have been additionally greater than March costs at a median of Rs 185 a kg, in opposition to a median of Rs 142 a kg. All India public sale costs in April went as much as a median Rs 167 a kg from a median Rs 137 a kg in March.
Costs for the very best quality tea from throughout the nation shall be found by way of a particular public sale in any respect the public sale centres this month, for which the particular version plucking (one bud two leaves) beneath the supervision of the Tea Board has already been completed on the Worldwide Tea Day, a Tea Board official stated. The worldwide and home market tendencies for tremendous premium high quality might be gauged from the forthcoming public sale, although hand-crafted Darjeeling varieties could fetch a a lot greater worth than the public sale worth since these are privately exported, stated a member of the Darjeeling Tea Affiliation.