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Tea production down 5% in May on unfavourable weather

The country had produced 76.18 million kg of the beverage in the same month of 2011, Tea Board data said

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India's fell by almost 5% to 72.54 million kg in this year due to decline in output in most of the tea growing areas in North and South India on account of unfavourable conditions.

The country had produced 76.18 million kg of the beverage in the same month of 2011, data said.

Tea output in North India declined to 49.67 million kg in May 2012 against 51.74 million kg in May 2011, whereas, it fell to 22.88 million kg from 24.44 million kg in South India in the same period.

"Tea production has been hit due to unfavourable weather. Till February there was high temperatures with no rain and now Assam and North Bengal are reeling under floods, which has affected the output," Indian Tea Association (ITA) Joint Secretary, S Patra told PTI.

Since the beginning of 2012 India has been witnessing downward trends in tea production. This trend is visible across all tea regions in North and South India except Cachar, he added.

In the first five months of the current calender year, tea output declined by 11% to 215.82 million kg from 243.62 million kg in the January-May period of 2011.

Tea production in North India fell to 128.81 million kg in January-May 2012 from 146.74 million kg in the year-ago period, while, the output in South India declined to 87.01 million kg from 96.87 million kg in the same period.

According to a survey conducted by ITA, the output of the brew is expected to decline for the month of June as well.

"ITA has recently surveyed the crop scenario in June amongst its member companies in Assam and North Bengal. This survey shows that major tea areas covering Upper Assam, North Bank (Assam), Central Assam, Cachar, Dooars, Terai are experiencing decline of 3 million kg (8%) during the month of June 2012 against June 2011," Patra said.

Tea production in Darjeeling during June 2012 shows a decline of as much as 36% against June 2011, he added.

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