A strong export demand coupled with ensuing Easter holidays has lifted orthodox tea prices in Kochi auctions.

The demand was strong in sale with 92 per cent of sales out of the offered quantities of 1,80,662 kg. According to traders, exporters are busy with their purchase to meet the export commitments before the fiscal year end. Besides, lower arrivals from the growing regions due to lower production are also contributing factors for the prices to move up.

The auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said the market for Nilgiri and medium whole leaf and brokens was firm and dearer by a longer margin of ₹5 to ₹10 and sometimes more, as the sale progressed especially towards the close. A strong demand was forthcoming from exporters to CIS and Middle East countries and Tunisian accounts also operated. Upcountry buyers lent useful support.

CTC leaf also witnessed a good demand with a sales percentage of 91 out of the offered quantity of 45,000 kg. There was a subdued demand from major packateers.

The demand for CTC dust was better and widespread with a sales percentage of 92 out of the offered quantity of 7,23,723 kg. Blenders together absorbed 56 per cent of the total CTC dust sold. Exporters operated with improved limits and covered more quantity compared to last week. Loose tea traders and upcountry buyers lent fair support.

Orthodox dust market was steady to firm, witnessing a fair demand. The sales percentage was only 59 out of the offered quantity of 9000 kg.