Declining sales percentage in orthodox leaves in Kochi auctions has started worrying traders, focusing on exports.

They pointed out that the sales percentage in sale 42 was only 65 out of the offered quantities of 1,65,226 kg which indicated a subdued overseas demand that emanated out of Israel-Hamas conflict in West Asia.

However, traders maintained that things are going smoothly for the time being, facilitating exporters to execute every single order. But they apprehend that anything can happen anytime if the situation worsens. “We are carrying out shipments to almost all the West Asian countries and if they get involved in the on-going war, the repercussions will be bad,” a tea exporter in Kochi said.

Tea exports to Israel is very low, but involvement of Iran, a leading buyer of Indian tea, on the current issues will have an impact on the industry, he said adding that Iran is routing Indian tea through Dubai.

The auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said traditional exporters to CIS and West Asian countries are selective and subdued, while new exporters entered the market.

CTC leaf market was steady to firm with major packeteers lending fair support along with upcountry buyers. The quantity offered was 30,000 kg with a sale of 91 per cent, the auctioneers said.

However, the dust market was up with an increase of ₹3/kg in average price mainly because of lower arrivals in the forthcoming sales. The climatic variations in the High Ranges last week with heavy rains have hit production which would have an impact on arrivals to auction centre.

The sold quantity in CTC dust was 84 per cent out of the arrivals of 8,76,886 kg, realising a ₹4 increase in average price realisation. The market for select best liquoring teas was dearer, witnessing active support from blenders.