Assam tea rains

Guwahati, March 27: Assam tea producers can breathe a sigh of relief as good rains have fallen on all tea estates in the region after a prolonged dry spell. This has raised hopes for a “normal” first flush production for the upcoming new season.

Earlier, tea producers in Assam, which is the top-producing state for tea in India, were concerned that the deficient rainfall would impact the first flush crop. However, Bidyananda Barkakoty, the adviser of the North Eastern Tea Association (NETA), said that all parts of the state have now received rain, which should not affect the first flush crop.

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The first flush crop, which is generally produced in March and April, constitutes approximately 10% of the total tea production in Assam. Azam Monem, former chairman of the Indian Tea Association (ITA), anticipates that the March crop will be better than last year due to the early start of cropping this year.

While the first flush is significant, the second flush is more crucial as it is the premium variety. Second-flush crops are generally produced in May and June. In 2022, Assam tea production reached 687.93 million kgs, while in 2021, it was 667.73 million kgs due to less rainfall in the early months of the year.

Buyers do not depend heavily on Assam tea production in March, and prices will depend on the production in April and May. Azam Monem also notes that the market is not yet hungry as consumption did not grow as expected during the winter, which was relatively warm.