Tea import by India, the world’s largest producer after China, has shot up 28% in July 2009, despite high prices. In July 2009, India imported 2.85 million kg of tea compared with 2.05 million kg a year earlier. India produced 460.88 million kg till July 2009, about 16 million kg less than a year earlier. Drought in Assam, the largest producing state, has raised fears of a decline in domestic output prompting rise in import and higher prices. The import price of tea went up to Rs83.93/kg in July 2009 from Rs73.71/kg in July last year. However, the average export price of tea rose to Rs133.80/kg between January 2009 and July 2009 from Rs106.27/kg in the previous year.
Caprolactam is the principal raw material for Nylon-6, and is used for producing nylon filament yarn (NFY) and nylon tyre cord fabric (NTCF). Its demand from automobile and textile manufacturers has been rising. The international price has surged 66% from the February low of Rs70,000 per tonne to Rs1,16,000 a tonne as on 15 September 2009.
Cardamom output may fall 15%-20% this season as plantations in Kerala were devoid of showers during June 2009 that lowered crop output. Last year, production was 10,000 tonnes. Heavy rains during the latter half of August 2009 have further affected the crop.