The India Tea Association (ITA) estimated that India will continue to be the largest tea producer with 930 million kilograms (mkgs) (2 mkgs more than last year) but predicted a shortage of 27 mkgs in India due to growing domestic and international demand. ITA officials say that shortage of production early in the year has caused a cumulative backlog and promises to “import more tea” to meet domestic and international demands estimated at 1000 mkgs (up from 972 mkgs) from Indonesia , Vietnam and Nepal .
Tea producers from Assam and North Bengal have been falling because of lack of investment in tea farms that have ageing bushes. The industry will replant 50-year old bushes in hundreds of acres which will take 5-7 years to gestate so the demand to supply difference will grow. Domestic demand is estimated at 805 mkgs (up from 780 mkgs) and expected to grow at 3.3% every year. India imported 16 mkgs last year.