Tea export down in first eight months of fiscal year

Kathmandu, April 24

Adding to the concerns of the ballooning trade deficit of the country, export of Nepali tea slumped by around 36 per cent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period of the previous fiscal.

According to the statistics compiled by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), tea worth Rs 208.3 million was exported in the first eight months of the current fiscal year 2018-19 against Rs 284.9 million worth of tea exported in the same period of last fiscal.

However, National Tea and Coffee Development Centre (NTCDC) claims that export of tea has been rapidly increasing in recent years. Although the export seems less in first eight months, it is likely to increase compared to the previous fiscal by the end of the current fiscal, say NTCDC officials.

“The plucking season has just started, so the export figures will go up by the end of the fiscal,” explained Gaurab Luitel, information officer of the centre.

Nevertheless, it is to be noted that during the same period of last fiscal year, Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling had affected the tea trade in India, which had benefited Nepali traders. “Keeping this situation aside, the growth of tea export is satisfying,”

Luitel said, adding, “Demand of Nepali tea has increased after the Nepali orthodox tea received international trademark entitled ‘Nepal Tea, Quality from the Himalayas’ in February.”

As per the centre, India, Russia, Germany, China and the United Arab Emirates are the top five importers of Nepali tea, while Germany, India, USA, France and Japan are the top importers of Nepali green tea.

Currently there are 131 tea industries in 14 districts across the country. As per the centre, these industries are producing around 19 million kilograms of tea annually.

Every year, Nepal exports around 10,000 tonnes of tea, which makes it one of the major exportable goods of the country.

Amid this the centre is preparing for the 22nd National Tea Day on Sunday, April 28.