A shortage of orthodox leaf-grade teas in South Indian centres, coupled with a strong export demand, lifted their prices at Kochi auctions this week.

A tea exporter told businessline that 99 per cent of the offerings in orthodox grades from the auction centers of Kochi, Coimbatore, and Coonoor was sold out due to the shortage. The end of the season in the North Indian market also added to the non-availability of tea to meet the demand in the export market.

Single exporter on buying spree

Traders in Kochi said a single exporter procured around 1.25 lakh kg from sale 10, as he had firm orders from Iraq, Tunisia, and some African countries for secondary grades. The deficiency of the crops at production centers also hit the arrival of good tea, which also affected the offerings in the sale.

At the same time, crop shortage has put exporters in a spot, especially on the firm enquiries received from Iran buyers for South Indian orthodox teas in which the shipments are expected to revive from the next fiscal.

Also read: India imported 25.97 million kg of tea in 2021-22

The auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis. said 97 per cent of the offered quantities of 2,30,311 kg were sold, registering an ₹5 increase in the average price realization at ₹163 per kg. The market for Nilgiri whole leaf and broken ones was dearer by ₹5-10. There was an active participation of exporters and upcountry buyers.

CTC leaf also witnessed a good demand with 95 per cent of the offered quantity of 34,500 kg sold. There is an improved demand for Fannings from exporters.

However, the dust market was lower following subdued demand from local and upcountry buyers as well as exporters. CTC dust prices were down by ₹1 to ₹2 and witnessed some withdrawal. The quantity offered was only 8,02,000 kg.

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