Iran continues to be a major buyer at the Kochi tea auctions, especially for quality orthodox grades, procuring more than 50 per cent of the offerings in this category.

Traders said Iran buyers used to procure large quantities from Sri Lanka, but the current uncertainties in the island nation facilitated them to scout for their grade from Kochi. The surge in tea prices in Kolkata auctions to around ₹500 per kg has also forced Iran buyers to come to South Indian auctions, especially Kochi, which alone offers their preferred grades. Around 80 per cent of black tea buyers from North India are opting for Kochi forspecified varieties with prices ruling lower at ₹350. This helps them to blend the brew to cater to export markets.

Turkey turns focus on India

Turkey has also started focussing on Kochi auctions for quality teas. However, Tunisia and Iraq are looking at much cheaper and secondary grades, while Russian buyers prefer low-priced teas.

The quantity of orthodox varieties offered in sale 30 was 8,80,000 kg. However, average price realisation was down by around ₹20 per kg at ₹165. Traders attributed the trend to increased offerings of secondary types.

Meanwhile, the ensuing Onam festival season has also revived the CTC dust market with Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) emerging as the major buyer, procuring around one lakh tonnes. Traderssaid the State government announcement to provide food kits through Public Distribution System in the festival season has facilitated Supplyco to enter into the tea auction market as they wants to include tea packets as well in the kits..