Tea crisis looms as prices surge


Ahead of Ramazan the price of black tea (loose) has swelled to Rs1,600 per kg from Rs1,100 in the last 15 days as around 250 containers still stuck at the port that arrived from late December 2022 to early January.

After Jan 21, banks had filed financial instruments thus allowing only those importers to pay duties who received 180 days defer payment telex from their suppliers. But the containers of those who failed to get this facility from their suppliers are still stranded at the port.

A retailer said a leading brand has raised the price of 170-gram Danedar and Elaichi packs to Rs320 and Rs350 from Rs290. The 900 and 420-gram packs now cost Rs1,480 and Rs720 as against Rs1,350 and Rs550. Other packers are set to follow suit.

As a result, the welfare associations may not be able to distribute tea in ration bags due to shortage and high cost, he added.

Kenya is the gateway to Africa connecting seven landlocked countries. Pakistan imports teas worth around $500m annually from Kenya and exports only $250m of different items.