In the month of July, Pakistan imported 14.21 million kg black tea for $29 million against 7.0 million kg worth $16.9 million at the same time last year recording a 100 percent increase according to the data of Pakistan Tea Association (PTA).
This has happened due to decrease in tea smuggling via Pakistan-Afghanistan border due to the presence of American paramilitary. Only the route from Chaman through Quetta is open but that route does not have serious capacity. An estimated 70 million kilograms of tea is being imported in Pakistan through illegal channels.
Pakistan consumes about 170 million kg of tea per year making it the third largest tea importer in the world. It imports black tea from 21 countries and bulk of it is imported from Kenya. In July, tea import from Kenya accounted for more around 59 percent of the total Black tea import followed by 16 percent from Indonesia.
The country imports green tea five countries of which Indonesia, Vietnam and China makes up the majority. In July 2010, 60.60 percent of green tea was imported from Vietnam while 33.40 percent from China.Hanif Janoo, Chairman, Pakistan Tea Association said that consumption of tea has increased in Pakistan. Previously, smuggled tea through Afghan Transit Trade affected legal tea importers. Now, the ratio of tea import via legal and illegal means equalized