Sri Lanka, a significant player in the global tea market, has been unable to export tea due to a severe economic crisis, providing an opportunity for the Indian tea sector to break into the market.
According to tea traders in North Bengal, the current situation in Sri Lanka, which has been unable to sell its tea, has created prospects for a new market in India.
“Sri Lankan purchasers who are unable to obtain tea due to the continuing turmoil would rely on India,” said Kamal Kumar Tiwari, Chairman of the Siliguri Tea Auction Committee and Trader.
Tiwari suspects if the situation in Sri Lanka continues to deteriorate, the Indian market will expand, and individuals seeking high-quality tea will find it in India.
Another dealer and tea garden owner from Siliguri, Satish Mitruka, believes that expanding the Indian market can help the struggling business.
Sri Lanka, according to Mitruka, is a major producer of orthodox tea, producing roughly 3 million kg annually and exporting the majority of its products to European and American countries.
“Now, because of the economic situation, customers will be hesitant to buy tea from Sri Lanka and would instead turn to India,” he said.
“The transition will strengthen India’s traditional tea market,” he continued.
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing severe food and electricity shortages, and the recession is being blamed on foreign exchange shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic’s tourism ban.
The country is unable to purchase sufficient fuel and gas, and its citizens are without basic necessities.
As the economic crisis in Sri Lanka worsens, a growing number of people, especially the unemployed, are protesting against the government, demanding two-times meals.