This week at Sale 26 at the Kolkata tea auction, the average price of both the Orthodox and CTC varieties was higher than that in the last week (Sale 25), according to J. Thomas & Company Pvt Ltd, tea auctioneers. The average price of the Orthodox variety was higher at Rs 252.37 (Rs 239.32) per kg and of CTC at Rs 154.13 (Rs 146.98) per kg. An estimated 93.34 per cent (93.03 per cent) of the Orthodox and 72.41 per cent (61.85 per cent) of CTC volumes offered were sold.

This week the total offerings (packages) at the three North Indian auction centres at Kolkata, Guwahati and Siliguri were 2,99,613 as compared to 2,64,710 in the corresponding sale (No. 26) last year.

The offerings at Kolkata comprised CTC/Dust 91,069 (1,00,214), Orthodox 31,445 (15,406) and Darjeeling 6,754 (4,960). The offerings at the two other centres mainly handling CTC/Dust were: Guwahati 87,624 (77,912) and Siliguri 87,721 (66,218).

Liquoring Assam CTC teas continued to receive strong enquiry and sold at attractive rates. Assams with improved quality were firm to dearer, while the plainer sorts and reprints met with less enquiry at easier rates. Dooars sold irregularly lower. Tata Global operated selectively on the liquoring sorts. Hindustan Unilever operated on the mediums. Western India operated actively for the liquoring teas. There were good inquiries from other internal and local sections. The interest from the exporters was selective.

The Orthodox tippy whole leaf grades were readily absorbed at attractive levels but tippy brokens saw lesser enquiry at easier rates. Bolder whole leaf, BPS grade and smaller brokens were irregular, while the remaining whole leaf, broken and fanning grades were firm to dearer. The CIS and West Asia shippers were active. Continental buyers operated on the tippy sorts. North India buyers operated on the bolder whole leaf grades. There was fair interest from local dealers.

The limited weight of Darjeeling teas showing an improvement in quality was readily absorbed. The remainder tended to be irregular and witnessed some withdrawals. Brokens and fannings were readily absorbed at dearer rates. Tata Global and Hindustan Unilever were selective. Traditional exporters operated for few improved teas.

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