Darjeeling first flush tea may very well be scarce this year, because the April or first flush manufacturing, rendering the best quality, has declined to 0.66 million kg from 0.92 million kg throughout the identical month final year. This has occurred as a result of a chronic dry spell. Early plucking, generally for need of money, has additionally completed injury to the quality.
“In case of Darjeeling tea, it is a Catch-22 situation this season. Quality production requires due time for tea leaves to grow before plucking. But, garden owners being cash starved will pluck early, though some gardeners will have obviously waited to get a good quality,” Atul Asthana, managing director and CEO, Goodricke Group, informed FF. A superb first flush crop fetches greater than 35% of a year’s whole income of Darjeeling tea gross sales. But, this year it could not be so as a result of of decrease quantity and quality, he stated.
Darjeeling first flush plucking usually takes place between March and April although some pluck throughout February-end as effectively. Production this season has been 50% low at 0.66 million kg, in comparison with the identical season in 2019 at 1.28 million kg (business doesn’t need evaluate 2021 figures with 2020 as gardens had been closed from December 2019 to mid-April 2020). Most gardens house owners had been money constrained since final year’s first flush was additionally hit, forcing planters to “strike a balance between cash flow and quality”, Asthana stated.
However, West Bengal’s general manufacturing throughout April this year was above 18 million kg, in comparison with a bit above 9 million kg throughout the identical month a year in the past. Auction costs in each March and April had 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 had been additionally increased than March costs at a mean of Rs 185 a kg, in opposition to a mean of Rs 142 a kg. All India public sale costs in April went as much as a mean Rs 167 a kg from a mean Rs 137 a kg in March.
Prices for the very best quality tea from throughout the nation shall be found via a particular public sale in any respect the public sale centres this month, for which the particular version plucking (one bud two leaves) below the supervision of the Tea Board has already been completed on the International Tea Day, a Tea Board official stated. The international and home market tendencies for tremendous premium quality might be gauged from the forthcoming public sale, although hand-crafted Darjeeling varieties may fetch a a lot increased worth than the public sale worth since these are privately exported, stated a member of the Darjeeling Tea Association.