Agri Business

More tea to be auctioned this week, but producers fear rains may erode supply

P. S. Sundar | | Updated on: Dec 02, 2021
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Low fresh tea arrivals, plantation workers’ absence likely to incur 60% loss in production, say planters

As much as 18.98-lakh kg tea has been catalogued for Sale No: 48 of the auctions at the Coonoor Tea Trade Association, scheduled to conclude on Friday.

Although the volume is about 58,000 kg more than the previous week’s offer , it is among the lowest volumes to be auctioned in recent times. The volume includes unsold tea from previous auctions as fresh tea arrival continues to be low.

Producers say the supplies at the auctions are likely to erode in the coming weeks too, due to torrential rains. “

The rains have caused high absenteeism among workers on many days. Most of them are migrant labourers from Jharkhand who did not report to work on several days due to heavy rains. We fear a 60 per cent loss in production due to this,” Lakshmanan Vairavan, a planter, told BusinessLine .

Also see: TN floods push up tea demand in many States

“We have not had sunlight for over a fortnight now. The continuous rains and mist have caused retardation in growth of tea leaves. Additionally, as workers have been unable to harvest on time, production has come down drastically,”G Udayakumar, Director of specialty tea major Avataa Beverages, said.

Orthodox share remains low

Of the 18.98-lakh kg offered for this week’s auctions, as much as 17.61-lakh kg belongs to the CTC variety and the remaining 1.37-lakh kg falls under the orthodox variety. The proportion of orthodox teas continues to be low in both leaf and dust grades. In the leaf tea counter, only 1.07-lakh kg belongs to orthodox while 13.73 lakh kg is CTC. Among dust tea, only 30,000 kg belongs to orthodox while 3.88 lakh kg is CTC. Overall, as much as 14.80 lakh kg belongs to leaf grades and 4.18 lakh kg is dust grades.

Bought-leaf factory Homedale Tea Factory’s Red Dust grade, auctioned by Global Tea Auctioneers Pvt Ltd (GTAPL), topped the entire auction last week when Tea Services India Pvt Ltd bought it for ₹360 a kg. Homedale Broken Orange Pekoe grade, auctioned by GTAPL, topped the leaf tea auctions fetching ₹331 a kg. These two were the only grades that crossed ₹300/kg and hence beat export-oriented teas from corporates. Among other CTC teas, Crosshill Estate Special got ₹286, Pinewood Estate ₹266, Shanthi Supreme ₹231, Vigneshwar Estate ₹213, Deepika Supreme and Hiribil Excel ₹201 each, and Hittakkal Estate ₹200.

Quotations with the brokers indicated ₹74 to ₹80 a kg for plain leaf grades and ₹146 to ₹186 for the best grades. For plain dust grades, they ranged between ₹61 and ₹80, and for the best grades, from ₹145 to ₹200.

Published on December 02, 2021

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