Tea imports down 23% at 6.40 million kg during Apr-Aug

Tea imports down 23% at 6.40 million kg during Apr-Aug New Delhi: India's tea imports declined 23 percent to 6.40 million kg during April-August this fiscal.

The country had imported 8.32 million kg tea in the year-ago period, according to the Tea Board data.

India, the world's largest consumer of tea, imports tea leaves solely for re-exporting them to other countries. The dip in imports thus signals less re-export.

The inbound shipments of tea from most of the countries registered a decline in the first five months of 2011-12.

India imports tea from Kenya, Malawai, Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, among a few other countries.

Indian tea imports dipped by 29 percent to 1.21 million kg in August this year, compared to 1.70 million kg in the same period previous year.

During January-August this year, imports of the brew fell 20 percent to 10.64 million kg, from 13.34 million kg in the year-ago period.

India, the second biggest producer of tea in the world, accounts for about 28 percent of global tea production and 14 percent of trade. There are about 1,600 tea estates in India.

The industry employs more than two million people.