After having to abandon its plans to visit Egypt in wake of the latest spell of turmoil in the country, the Indian tea industry is planning to mount a fresh bid to go there, perhaps after Ramadan.
“It is a 100 million kg market which is growing and it is important for us,” an industry source said. The India tea trade and industry had planned to visit Egypt last week. It was to be a delegation of the Indian Tea Association led by Tea Board Chairman M. G. V. K. Bhanu.
However, the spate of violent agitation in that country had led to the trip’s cancellation. “Several buyer-seller meets were fixed up along with visits to warehouses, port areas and factories owned by packeters. All of these were in very disturbed areas and we were advised to call off the trip”, a source said.
The Arab Republic of Egypt imports about 100 million kg of CTC (crush-tea-curl) tea, and Kenya, another African country, services most of the market. India, the world’s largest producer of black tea, has identified it as a priority market.
Between 2011 and 2012, India scored handsome increases in not only volume of tea exports to Egypt but also its value.
Exports, which stood at 5.66 million kg between January and December 2011, with an earning of Rs.49.3 crore, increased to 9.1 million kg in 2012 entailing an earning of Rs.98 crore through exports of CTC dust, according to official statistics.
“We have received favourable feedback from our buyers in this respect”, sources said.