Tea Trade Association of Cochin (TTAC) is planning to reopen warehouses from Monday (March 30)

The association has, in a communication to its members, cited a circular dated March 26, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which presumably reads “all warehouses are to remain open to ensure availability of essential goods.”

Further stating that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries had also vide a circular stated that “tea has been included in the list of essential goods”, the association has substantiated its stand for reopening the warehouses.

It has, however, clarified that the warehouses would be open between 10 am and 3 pm from March 30, until further notice.

“There will be no demurrage charges for the teas stored during the lockdown period,” the TTAC release said.

But the trade associations in Coonoor and Coimbatore seem to have no such plans.

The auctions have been halted, there are no arrivals, buyers’ and brokers’ offices are closed and the entire industry has come to a standstill mode, an industry source said.

It is learnt that the tea stocks in the warehouses in Coimbatore could be of the order of 7 to 8 lakh kilograms.