UAE emerges as India’s second top tea importer

During the period from January to September 2022, the UAE imported 28.58 million kilogrammes of tea from India, a surge of 159 per cent from the similar nine-month period of 2021



Indian tea industry sources said that exporters are looking for other avenues as shipments to Iraq, an erstwhile major importer, reduced to zero due to payment issues. — Reuters
Indian tea industry sources said that exporters are looking for other avenues as shipments to Iraq, an erstwhile major importer, reduced to zero due to payment issues. — Reuters
by

Issac John

Published: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 6:16 PM

Last updated: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 7:13 PM

The UAE, which is among the top five tea exporting hubs in the world, has emerged as the second largest importer of tea from India after the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a block, according to the latest data released by India’s Tea Board.

During the period from January to September 2022, the UAE imported 28.58 million kilogrammes of tea from India, a surge of 159 per cent from the similar nine-month period of 2021.

CIS countries imported 38.06 million kilograms during that period in 2022, up from 33.34 million kilograms in the ..

The UAE is a global hub in the tea export market, with total exports of about Dh1.2 billion in 2020, according to a report by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC).

The UAE tea trade stood at around Dh1.859 billion in 2021, including exports worth DhD968 million, re-exports of Dh128 million, and Dh763 million of imports.

The tea trade volume reached Dh586 million in Q1 this year, including exports worth Dh310 million, re-exports of Dh51 million and around Dh224 million in imports.

The annual household spending on tea in the UAE hit around Dh290 million, according to 2019 data, based on a household income and expenditure survey. The data shows that the number of coffee & tea kiosks in the UAE reached 14,567 until May 19.

The figures place the UAE among the world’s top tea exporting countries after China, Sri Lanka, Kenya and India. In 2021, UAE exported tea to 154 countries in 2021.

Dubai, the re-export hub of the UAE, has taken an initiative to form Dubai Multi commodities Centre (DMCC). This has a dedicated section for tea trade. DMCC provides facilities like warehousing, blending and packing of tea.

Indian tea industry sources said that exporters are looking for other avenues as shipments to Iraq, an erstwhile major importer, reduced to zero due to payment issues.

''It is good to see that the UAE is now importing Indian tea in a big way. This augurs well for the exporters as it is a major consumer of the premium orthodox variety,'' an exporter said.

Besides Iraq, shipments to another major buyer Iran is also suffering due to economic sanctions imposed by the US and also because the Iranian importers are not lifting the commodity due to non-issuance of invoices to the Indian exporters. Exports to the CIS are also in limbo due to the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine which had affected shipments owing to logistics issues, exporters said. During the nine months from January to September 2022, total exports of Indian tea stood at 165.58 million kilogrammes, higher than 142.55 million kilogrammes in 2021 in the same period.

Indian Tea Association, the apex body of planters, has predicted that exports of Indian tea would touch 230 million kilogrammes in 2022, as compared to 196 million kilograms in 2021.

The tea industry is also looking at the Chinese market for raising exports as the country has the highest consumption of the beverage.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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