The liquidity crisis prevailing in the local market is hitting tea auctions. It has resulted in subdued sales and lower prices at Kochi tea auctions this week.

Traders said cash flow issues in the market have affected buyers of local tea who resorted to hand-to-mouth purchases. This has resulted in weak demand. Arrivals in CTC dust were lower in sale 9 at 8,13,360 kg due to frost in production centres.

But this has not helped to boost prices, a common phenomenon when the quantity offered is lower. Future offerings were also reported to be lower. Auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said the average price realisation was down by ₹2 at ₹146 compared with ₹148 a week ago.

The sales percentage in the market was only 89 per cent of the offered quantities in CTC dust in which good liquoring teas were lower by ₹1 to ₹2. There were also some withdrawals as the sale progressed. The decline in price was less for low medium and plainer teas.

Orthodox offerings low

The offered quantities in the orthodox dust market were only 1,000 kg and all of it was sold as exporters and upcountry buyers absorbed the small quantity.

The offered quantities in the leaf category were also lower with orthodox grades at 2,38,174 kg of which 92 per cent were sold. The crop availability was lower in production centers which are expected to improve once the summer showers start in high ranges.

Exporters to CIS countries lent useful support, while a strong enquiry was noticed from upcountry buyers because of the low crop situation in North Indian estates. In CTC leaf, the quantity offered was only 35,500 kg, and 95 per cent were sold. The average price realisation remained at the same level of ₹159, quoted last week.