Add tea to the list of products becoming more expensive due to the pandemic.
Wholesale tea leaves have jumped 50% in price since March, according to the Wall Street Journal. The surge is beginning to be felt in retail prices, which have risen from 1.7% for teabags to 9.6% for liquid concentrate.
A combination of increased demand by consumers stuck at home and bad weather has pushed up tea prices, which had been depressed by oversupply. Tea has to be grown in hilly country with tropical climates. Drought cut production in Sri Lanka by 15%, while India has suffered production drops due to difficulties in harvesting brought about by the pandemic.
In the long term, climate change is threatening global tea production while demand will rise, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Tea is the world’s most popular beverage.