Exports have fallen sharply in Iran because the US embargo on dealings with that country , but the tea sector is helping to alleviate that. The Indian Tea Association recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iran Tea Association,which takes exports to Iran up to 30 million kg in two years. On this decision the Indian Tea association has said
“Iran is an important destination for our exports and it will increase with this new memorandum,”
According to Tea Board data s exports to Iran in January-September 2012 was seven million kg, of total exports of 125.7 million kg. A tea industry veteran is quoted saying,
“Iran is an orthodox tea market. This will make Indian orthodox production strong. Producers can convert cheap CTC tea to the orthodox variety,”
India’s production of orthodox or handrolled tea is around 70 million kg, a small portion of the total production of about 1,100 million kg. India is the fourth largest exporter of tea in the world, after Kenya, China and Sri Lanka. In 2010, total export was 222 million kg, which dropped to 211 million in 2011 and to 195 million kg in 2012. In recent years, consumption of tea has been growing at a faster rate than had been estimated.
So here, with India and Iran, Tea is saving the day. India and Iran both have very strong traditions in terms of tea and they can support eachother in their industries, even if the US is not doing so currently with Iran.