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Bitter brew

The falling production and rising exports of tea have pushed up the prices in the domestic market.

     Print Edition: November 13, 2008

It’s a cup that cheers millions of Indians every day. But its price tag is nothing to smile about. The price of the cut-turn-curled (CTC) tea has risen by an average 8% a year in the past 18 years, faster than the 6.6% average rise in consumer prices.

Then: The retail price of CTC tea was Rs 29 for a 500 gm pack in 1990.

Now: A 500 gm pack sells for Rs 116, a 300% rise in 18 years.

Then: If the price of CTC tea keeps rising at the same rate, a 500 gm pack may cost Rs 464 in 2026.

The falling production and rising exports of tea have pushed up the prices in the domestic market. This does not augur well for Indians who are regular consumers of the beverage. The huge demand for Indian tea in the global market means there is no respite in sight.

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