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Tea exports surge as Egypt cuts duty

UNI
Oct 22, 2006 at 09:29pm IST

Kolkata: India's tea exports to Egypt have surged after the later slashed import duties recently, according to Tea Board Chairman Basudeb Banerjee.

India exported one million kg of tea to Egypt in the first six months of 2006 as against 70,000 kg last year, Banerjee said.

For the current year till December, the Tea Board is targeting around 3 million kg of exports to Egypt.

PRODUCTION BOOM: Tea production in Aug raised 7.11 pc to 120.4 million kg over last year.

The exports to Egypt are expected to increase to 10 million kg in a couple of years, the Tea Board Chairman said.

Incidentally, India produces CTC tea, which is mostly in demand in Egypt.

Egypt's recent duty cut to five per cent for imports from countries outside Africa after lobbying by countries like India largely leveled the competition with major producer Kenya.

Banerjee, who recently returned from Cairo following talks to remove other roadblocks, described the discussions as fruitful.

Apart from consolidating presence in Egypt, India is also looking to boost sales in Asia and Africa. Export markets in Pakistan and Iran were also growing significantly.

In August, total tea exports from India rose by 6.63 per cent from the corresponding month a year earlier reaching 15.91 million kg from 14.92 million kg in August 2005, the Tea Board said.

Exports rose by 26.89 per cent in July as traders sold large amounts of tea from last year's stocks.

August's smaller increase was largely due to drought and then heavy rains at the wrong time, Banerjee said.

He reiterated that India was well placed to take advantage of lower output from Kenya in the first quarter of the year, when the industry was badly hit by a lack of rain.

India's tea production in August registered 7.11 per cent growth from a year earlier to 120.4 million kg from 112.4 million kg in 2005.

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