Agri Business

Low supplies from North brighten S. Indian teas

P. S. Sundar Coonoor | Updated on January 30, 2011

South Indian teas, more so, the export-oriented orthodox teas, may fetch better returns till March because of low supplies from the North due to winter conditions.

Brokers point out that some North Indian auction centres, including Kolkata, might be dropped after a fortnight for want of volume.

“There is no production in North India right now. In particular, orthodox tea supplies from Assam, Dooars, Terrai and Cachar have dried up. After Sale No: 6 of Kolkata auctions, which will take place in a fortnight, we may have to drop a few sales as offerings are very low,” Mr Subodh Paul, Director, Contemporary Brokers P Ltd, Kolkata, told Business Line.

Due to winter, hot tea consumption has increased in both North Indian States and foreign destinations. Consequently, absorption of the low supplies at the auction continues to be high.

This week, 95 per cent of the offer at Kolkata auction has been absorbed and more buyers are turning to South Indian centres for meeting their requirement.

Overseas buyers

This week, the CIS, Dubai and Iran have bought North Indian orthodox teas while the CIS and Tunisia have been scouting for quality South Indian offers. The prices of the best quality North Indian orthodox teas ranged Rs 170-200 a kg while their South Indian counterparts got Rs 100-120. The lower end ranged Rs 80-90 in the North and Rs 70-80 in South Indian auctions.

Production is low across the globe. “While North Indian production is closed, in the South, more than 15 per cent crop loss has occurred so far in January due to less sunshine and lower temperature,” Mr Paul said. Less sunshine is reducing harvest in Sri Lanka. Season has closed in Vietnam and China. Dry weather is pulling down Kenyan crop.

Published on January 27, 2011

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