There were no sales this week at any of the three North Indian tea auction centres at Kolkata, Guwahati and Siliguri due to non-availability of tea. As a result, Sale Number 11 due this week could not be held at any of these centres and there were no auctions of either the CTC/Dust or Orthodox or Darjeeling varities.
“There is nothing unusual about it,” a spokesman for J Thomas & Company Pvt Ltd., tea auctioneers, told Business Line. “Every year during this time one or two sales get dropped due to non-availability of tea this being the closure of the season.”
He indicated that Sale Number 13, due to take place in the last week of this month, too might be dropped for the same reason.
Limited quantities of the Dooars variety of the first flush new tea are expected to hit the auction in the first week of April, most probably from Sale Number 14 and it will be another two weeks or so before the Assam variety starts arriving (Sale Numbers 15, 16). “The drought this year has hit the early crops, but there have been some rains in the past few days,” observed the spokesman. “Let’s us see.”