KARACHI: Amid an unprecedented surge in the cost of living owing to soaring utility bills and food prices, tea packers have shocked consumers with another rate hike.

The Sensitive Price Index (SPI) for the week ending Sept 29 quoted the price of Lipton 190-gram pack at Rs357 as compared to Rs290 in the first week of the same month. The pack was available at Rs260 in May and Rs290 in July.

Retailers said the packers had raised tea prices by at least Rs150-200 per kg since July.

Some clever retailers are pasting new price stickers on the old stocks to make an instant windfall even though the packers reveal the retail rate on the pack.

An importer told Dawn that the price of one kg (unbranded tea) in the market was Rs1,100, showing an increase of Rs50 over the last month, which is still cheaper than branded packs.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data, the country imported 36,714 ton­nes of black tea worth $92 million in 2MFY23 as compared to 47,170 tonnes valuing $103m.

The average per tonne price of tea in the last 2MFY23 had risen to $2,503 as compared to $2,186 in the above period.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2022

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