Gulf Tea Sellers may Thrive

DUBAI - A slump in oil prices abruptly ended rapid economic expansion in the Middle East Gulf, but tea demand could be boosted as consumers cut spending and stay at home, the head of Dubai’s tea industry body said.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sat 11 Apr 2009, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:32 AM

Oil is trading around $50 a barrel, nearly $100 below the record level struck last July, casting gloom over the world’s top oil exporting region.

The strain of the slowdown may have consumers in the Gulf reaching for teapots more often, said Sanjay Sethi, the head of the Dubai Tea Trading Centre .

“There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that during times of economic recession people drink more tea at home to calm down,” Sethi said. “And I expect that demand will be higher this year.”

In Dubai, tea trade in 2008 was 148.6 million kilogrammes, up from 144.6 million kilogrammes a year earlier, Sethi said.

Tea prices have stayed firm while most other commodities have declined with the slowing economy, he said. Dry weather has crimped supply from many of the top producing countries.

More news from Business