EghtesadOnline: The production of fresh tea leaves is estimated to reach 100,000 to 105,000 tons in the current Iranian year that started on March 21, registering a 24-28% decline compared with last year due to shortage and low precipitation, the head of Iran Tea Organization said.
“So far, 92,000 tons of fresh tea leaves worth 1.77 trillion rials (close to $44.5 million) have been purchased from local farmers,” Mohammad Vali Rouzbehan was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Sunday.
The official added that about 95% of tea orchards in Iran are rain-fed.
Last year (March 2016-17), the government purchased more than 139,000 tons of fresh tea leaves, worth 2.34 trillion rials ($62 million) from farmers, of which 31,200 tons of dried tea were produced, according to Financial Tribune.
Every year, the government buys certain crops, including tea, from local farmers at guaranteed prices, to build up its strategic reserves and control prices in the domestic market.
Tea is cultivated in Iran’s northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran where 50,000 families earn their living from tea farming on more than 25,000 hectares of fields.
About 110,000 tons of dried tea, worth between $550-600 million (based on global prices and if it was all imported), are consumed in Iran annually.
Iran imports tea from India, the UAE, Sri Lanka and Kenya. Latest statistics released by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Customs Administration show close to 1,000 tons of black tea worth nearly 149.85 billion rials ($4.61 million) were imported into Iran during the fourth month of the Iranian calendar (June 22-July 22).