Unseasonal rains in the high ranges of Kerala has affected tea arrivals at Kochi auctions with the CTC dust market firming up and witnessing a strong demand.

The offered quantity in sale 43 was 7,87,200 kg and future offerings in forthcoming auctions are lower. With strong demand, the market was dearer by ₹2-3, auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said.

A senior official at a tea-producing company said intermittent rains have affected the crop badly with a high incidence of pests and diseases, making it impossible for the application of pesticides in the wet weather. If the weather conditions do not improve in the coming days, there are possibilities of lower crop.

The emerging situation has put exporters in a fix as many of them are unable to meet their export commitments. The crop position was lower in July, August and October, while it showed some improvement in September, the official said, adding that there is a lot of demand for good teas both in the domestic and export market.

Kenya looks to fill void

The north Indian tea production is expected to be lower with winter and overall, prices are likely to be firm or dearer for the later part of the year, traders said. Kenya is looking at the global orthodox market hitherto catered by Sri Lanka and a huge amount of conversion is happening there from CTC to orthodox, traders said.

In the auctions in Kochi, blenders covered more quantity compared with last week and the average price realisation was up by ₹5 at ₹136.63 against ₹131.27.

Exporters continue to be major buyers for orthodox dust with market for primary grades remaining firm to dearer. The quantity offered was 5,500 kg.

In leaf sales, 90 per cent of the offered quantities of 3,80,630 kg of orthodox grades was sold with exporters to CIS countries and West Asia extending useful support. The average price realisation was also up by ₹5 at ₹166 per kg.