P.S. Sundar

Coonoor, July 31

THE improvement in the demand witnessed last week continued this week when a volume of 17.5 lakh kg was offered for sale at the Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA) auctions here.

In particular, the brighter liquoring teas were absorbed by the upcountry buyers, more so, those from western regional markets. The buyers from Maharashtra and Gujarat, however, restricted their orders to quality teas because of the communication and transport limitations due to floods.

On the corporate buyers' front, Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) bought some better medium grades. JV Gokal gave some useful support. Others were absent. The buyer for the Defence use was active on the lower end of the market. For the export purchase, the visible buyer was for the clean black teas for Pakistan. The average price was around Rs 31 a kg. The buyers for Iraq picked up some grades at around Rs 29. Shippers for CIS and Poland were forceful at Rs 21. "The CTC dusts continued to suffer sluggish demand. The medium and plainer sorts were sold for Rs 2 a kilo lower. Exporters did not buy these grades. Orthodox secondaries fetched Rs 2 lower" an auctioneer told Business Line.

Quotations held by the brokers indicated bids ranging from Rs 21 to 23 a kilo for the plain dusts and Rs 60-68 for the bright liquoring ones. For the plain leaf grades, the bids ranged Rs 21-24, while those for the bright liquoring ones, Rs 56-63.

For the next auctions, a volume of 16.67 lakh kg has been catalogued comprising 12.31 lakh kg of leaf grades and 4.36 lakh kg of dusts. Of the 16.67 lakh kg, as much as 15.52 lakh kg belong to the CTC grades and only 1.15 lakh kg orthodox grades.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 1, 2005)
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