Pakistan News

Tea prices brew up

Tea prices brew up

KARACHI: Domestic tea rates have risen by Rs60-125 per kg in the wake of increase in Kenya’s prices on the world market.

Local tea blenders issued the fresh price list in markets in the second week of this month, though they did not any reason for pushing up the rates.

According to the price list, Tapal Danedar’s 190-gram pack now costs Rs158 compared to Rs140 earlier, 385g at Rs315 compared to Rs280, and 950g at Rs750 compared to Rs620.

Tapal Family Mixture’s 190g, 475g and 950g packs are now available at Rs148, Rs365 and Rs715 as compared to earlier rates of Rs120 and Rs285 and Rs590.

Prices of Lipton Yellow Label 190g, 380g and 950g packs are Rs168, Rs330 and Rs815 compared to Rs142, Rs300 and Rs725, respectively.

The price of loose tea has also gone up by Rs60-65 per kilogram.

Leading tea packers and commercial traders import tea from over 20 countries in order to blend black tea with high-priced Kenyan tea. Tea packers import 70 per cent of high quality tea from Kenya in order to maintain aroma and taste.

The price of Kenyan tea, after remaining under pressure from the start this year, has climbed to $4.5 to $5 per kg now from $3.55 in June, while it was around $3 per kg in January, a tea packer said.

The price hike in Kenya was one of the main reasons behind rise in domestic tea prices, he said, adding that there was a shortage of 50 million kg tea in Kenya due to low crop.

Higher tea prices in Kenya have also impacted prices in some other countries, some of whom import from Pakistan, he said.

The packer said Pakistan’s annual tea consumption is estimated to be around 220,000 tonnes, of which 150,000 tonnes come from official and 60,000-70,000 tonnes come from illegal channels.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, tea imports jumped to 152,243 tonnes (valuing $341m) in 2014-15 from 133,145 tonnes ($300m) in 2012-13.

The commodity’s import bill was $37m (13,645 tonnes) in July 2015 compared to $23m (10,861 tonnes) in the same month last year.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2015

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