Although Pakistan imported lesser amount of tea from India in 2012, it paid a higher price on improved quality.

“The imports have declined by quantity but price and quality have improved.When I was in India, leading a 12-member delegation, I said that we want quality tea not poor sorts,” Hanif Janoo, managing partner of the Pakistan Tea Association, said.

Between January and December 2012, Pakistan imported 20.6 million kg accounting for 16 per cent of the country’s total imports. India came a very distant second to the 53 per cent market share enjoyed by Kenya, but the bright spark in 2012 was better prices.

Commenting on this, Mr. Janoo said: “while earlier we were buying at $1.10 a kg, now we are paying $1.70. You can see the difference”. He was all praise for the Chairman of the Tea Board of India, who, he felt, had played an active role in promoting exports of quality teas.

India aims at doubling its exports to Pakistan which imports around 130 million kg annually. The neighbouring country imported 24 million kg in 2011, and a target has been set for doubling this to 50 million kg by 2015.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed between the Indian Tea Association and the Pakistan Tea Association (PTA) on Tuesday. Mr. Janoo has said that not only South Indian teas, but the consumers in his country were keen to try out various other types of CTC teas from Assam and Dooars.

Pakistan is one of the top three tea importing nations with a consumption of 220 million kg and an official import of 120 million kg. Its main supplier is Kenya.

He said that teas from South India were now facing competition from Vietnam on the price front.

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