Last week at Sale No. 46 at the Kolkata tea auction, the average price of both CTC and Orthodox were virtually flat vis-a-vis the previous sale (No. 44, as there was no sale 45), according to J Thomas & Company Pvt Ltd, the tea auctioneers. The average price of Orthodox was Rs 172.61 per kg as compared to Rs 172.69 in the previous sale, while that of CTC was Rs 148.53 (Rs 148.27). An estimated 77.24 per cent (79.45 per cent) of the Orthodox and 87.11 per cent (84.03 per cent) of the CTC offerings were sold.

The total offerings (packages) at the three North Indian auctions centres at Kolkata, Guwahati and Siliguri at 2,74,345 was substantially lower than 5,13,057 in the corresponding sale (No. 46) of the last year. This was due mainly to the substantial drop in the offerings of CTC/Dust in all the three auction centres. Thus, the offerings of CTC/Dust at Kolkata was 1,21,604 (1,51,620), at Guwahati 66,056 (1,98,078) and Siliguri 40,479 (1,17,974). The Guwahati and Siliguri centres mainly handle CTC/Dust. At Kolkata, the offerings of Orthodox was 38,081 (37,144) and of Darjeeling 8,135 (8,241). Assam CTC teas met with strong demand and sold at firm to dearer rates, particularly cleaner, grainier and liquoring sorts. Bolder brokens appreciated following improved enquiry from the exporters. Dooars also followed a firm to dearer trend. There was good enquiry from Hindustan Unilever and active support from Tata Global. Western India dealers operated actively on the liquoring sorts. North India and the local sections were also active.

Orthodox offerings met with improved demand and all sorts sold at firm to dearer rates. There was good support on tippy and liquoring varieties from Continental buyers. Exporters to the CIS and West Asia operated. There was good enquiry from Hindustan Unilever.

The limited weight of Darjeeling teas showing seasonal improvement in quality saw strong competition and sold at attractive rates. The remainder sold in line with quality, with the plainer whole leaf grades neglected. Brokens were firm whilst fannings were dearer owing to improved export enquiry.

(This article was published on November 19, 2012)
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