The world-famous aromatic tea from Darjeeling is experiencing a decline in demand in Europe of at least 10 to 15 per cent from the previous year, a decline that has almost exactly paralleled Germany’s entry into a recession.
According to the office bearers of the Indian Tea Exporters Association, Germany is the consuming and trading hub for Darjeeling tea in Europe. In Europe, the demand is at least 10 to 15 per cent less compared to last year. Moreover, unit sale price is also marginally lower.”
It may be noted that Germany’s gross domestic product fell by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of the year. This followed a decline of 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022. A recession is commonly defined as two successive quarters of contraction.
As per the official data, the total exports of Darjeeling tea last year stood at over 3 million kgs. About 45 to 50 per cent of the annual tea production goes for exports. Europe and Japan are the two large overseas markets for this premium tea, which was the first product to get a geographical identification (GI) tag in India.
According to exporters, quantity offtake this year is also low in Japan primarily due to weak yen. There is a lot of price pressure too.
Darjeeling Tea Demand in Europe Declines by 10-15%There has been a shortage of high quality crops for Darjeeling first flush tea, and a surplus of mediocre quality due to erratic weather this year. By April mid, the first flush crop was down by 30 per cent due to hot and dry weather conditions.