P.S. Sundar

Coonoor, Sept. 22

Even as the Teaserve and Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA) auctions have reported the lowest price among all the eight auction centres in the country, these two auctions have recorded the highest increase in price this year.

According to the Tea Board, during the first seven months of 2006, CTTA recorded the highest price increase of Rs 8.60 a kg over the same period of 2005. The average price this year was Rs 46.89 a kg.But, Teaserve, the world's first e-auction centre, recorded the lowest price of Rs 45.18. Still, this showed the second highest increase of Rs 8.26 a kg. The average price fetched in the South Indian auctions this year rose Rs 5.46 to reach Rs 49.57 a kg. Coimbatore auctions posted an increase of Rs 4.86 to reach Rs 47.97 a kg and Kochi Rs 2.84 to reach Rs 52.76.

In the North, the prices averaged Rs 71.51 a kg, posting an increase of Rs 6.76. The highest price of Rs 77.85 a kg was recorded in Kolkata where the increase was Rs 7.20.

Jalpaiguri, the new auction centre, showed the highest increase of Rs 7.34 to achieve Rs 71.51 a kg. Guwhati showed an increase of Rs 6.38 to reach Rs 68.09. Siliguri posted a rise of Rs 6.32 to soar to Rs 66.14.All these collectively showed that in the seven months of 2006, prices in the Indian auctions rose Rs 5.76 a kg to touch Rs 63.65 a kg.

Volume dips

But, the volume sold dropped to 209.33 million kgs from 245 million kgs. In the South, the volume dropped to 74.98 million kgs from 81.39 million kgs. In North, the decline was from 163.62 million kgs to 134.35 million kgs. The volume sold fell in all the auction centres except Coimbatore where it rose from 11.88 million kgs to 12.37 million kgs. Auctioneers said the diversion of some teas from the Nilgiris to Coimbatore during the strike of the tea chest workers and the lorry owners helped the volume to rise in Coimbatore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 23, 2006)
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