Iran tea output up, imports down

Financial Tribune – Iran’s Domestic tea production has registered a 73% increase so far this year (started March 21, 2017), compared with the corresponding period of last year, leading to a 12% decline in imports.

According to Mohammad Vali Rouzbehan, the head of Tea Organization of Iran, tea farmers’ incomes have grown substantially by 234% during the period, ISNA reported.

“Last year, tea production grew by 60% [compared with the year before], marking a record high in the last seven years and the upward trend will continue in the coming years,” he recently told Financial Tribune.

He noted that around 4,000 hectares of farms under tea cultivation have been revived and that the government is guiding the tea industry toward growth in the current Iranian year (March 2017-18).

So far, the government has purchased 41,000 tons of fresh tea leaves, from which 9,000 tons of dried tea have been produced.

The official put the value of tea production at $920 billion rials ($24.625 million), adding that 400 billion rials ($10.706 million) have been paid to tea farmers.

Referring to the Iranian tea industry’s ups and downs in the past, Rouzbehan said between the fiscal 2012-13 and 2014-15, tea production hit an all-time low, although the industry saw a 115% hike in the past two years.

About 110,000 tons of dried tea, worth between $550 million and $600 million (based on global prices and if it was all imported), are consumed in Iran annually.

Close to 100,000 Iranian households earn their living, directly or indirectly, through tea production.