Agri Business

Kerala govt purchases lift black tea prices at Kochi sale

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on April 09, 2020

The Kerala government’s move to purchase black tea for supply through the public distribution system has lifted prices at Kochi auctions.

The tea auctions, which resumed after a gap of 20 days, saw prices moving up by ₹10-15 a kg and sometimes more, thanks to a robust purchase by Supplyco, State-owned Civil Supplies Corporation. Supplyco purchased about 2.5 lakh kg for distribution under PDS as part of the food kits of essential items being distributed in the lockdown period.

Of the quantity of 8.9 lakh kg offered in Sale 13, the sold quantity was 8.19 lakh kg at an average price of ₹120.90 per kg against ₹112.64 in the previous sale.

The auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis cited the shortage witnessed in the secondary and tertiary market as a reason for the surge in prices. They pointed out that 92 per cent of the quantity was sold in the auctions compared with 67 per cent in the previous sale.

The quantity of orthodox leaf sold was only 38 per cent out of the 2.28 lakh kg offered.

Traders attributed the subdued sales to the inability to send samples to clients both overseas and upcountry destinations due to the closure of courier and postal services. The average price realisation was higher at ₹127.56 per kg (₹121.29) due to the sale of high-priced teas. The sold quantity in CTC leaf was 39,000 kg.

Published on April 09, 2020

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