Prospects of Darjeeling Tea Seem Bright

As fresh rains lash the hills of north Bengal, the prospect of Darjeeling tea production has improved. After a long dry spell, the pre-monsoon showers managed to bring some respite to the Darjeeling tea planters.

"Rains lashed Darjeeling tea estates from middle of May. We are hoping that second flush tea production will be better. The dry spell from the beginning of the new season had been a major concern to us," confirms a senior tea planter.

Darjeeling tea is one of the world’s most expensive varieties for over 150 years. Almost 87 tea estates produce 8.5 - 9 million kg of tea annually. The dry spell has affected nearly 20 percent of the first flush production, which is around 1.8 - 2 million kg annually.

Prices of Darjeeling teas at the auctions have also increased by about 6 percent in this week's sale as the availability is less. At sale number 21, held this week, Darjeeling tea was commanding a price of Rs 373 per kg in comparison to Rs 353 per kg at the same sale last year.