P.S. Sundar

Coonoor, July 26

THERE was an overall improvement in the demand at the auctions of the Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA) here during the weekend, when a huge volume of 18.39 lakh kgs was offered for sale.

"The few select brighter liquoring teas were sold at dearer levels based on quality. The better medium sorts were sold at last levels, while the blacker descriptions fetched Rs 2 more due to intense competition," an auctioneer told Business Line.

However, a leading broker lodged a written complaint to the CTTA and the Tea Board against some irregularities in the e-auctions leading to the producers getting lower prices. "We were unable to knock down the sold lots in a few pages. But we announced them as sold. After the resumption of computer operation, people who had put auto bids did not get their bids registered. For instance, we sold in the hall a lot for Rs 41.50 a kg, whereas a buyer had put an auto bid of Rs 43. This was not registered and the seller did not get this price. We had also updated the asking price and the valuation of certain lots, but some them were not recorded in the computer," the broker noted.

On the export front, Pakistan bought the better made blacker smaller grades for around Rs 31 a kg. Exporters to Poland and CIS supported teas for around Rs 25. The shippers for Iraq were selective at around Rs 29.

Among the corporate buyers, Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) showed interest on better medium varieties. Tata Tea and the Defence buyer operated on the lower end of the market.

The orthodox primary dusts sold well on flavoury invoices. The secondary and primary residuals eased by Rs 2 due to less enquiry. Quotations held by the brokers indicated biddings in the range of Rs 21 to 23 a kg for the plain dust.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 27, 2005)
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