Orthodox tea prices in Kochi auctions have crossed the ₹300 per kg mark, thanks to supply disruptions in Sri Lanka.

Traders told BusinessLine that good quality orthodox teas in Kochi have touched a high of ₹342 in sale 28 with Iran emerging as a major buyer followed by Iraq, Turkey and other CIS countries.

They pointed out that reports of stoppage of tea production in the neighbouring country due to non-availability of fuel has forced many overseas buyers to scout for Indian teas which witnessed a surging demand in the recent period. This was reflected in the prices in the trade. It was not South Indian teas alone, but the brew from Kolkata auctions too has reported a price increase in the recent period. The market, according to traders, is continuing to be buoyant and is expected to remain so for some more time.

The quantity offered in orthodox grades was 3,80,612 kg and 74 per cent of the offered quantity was sold. The average price realization was up by ₹5 at ₹177 compared to ₹172 in the previous week.

The market for good Nilgiri, whole leaf and brokens appreciated with a longer margin of ₹5 to ₹10 and sometimes more. There was a strong demand from major buyers including from West Asian countries, the auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said.

The quantity offered in CTC leaf was 37,000 kg and 89 per cent of the offered quantity was sold.

Dust tea down

However, the dust market was lower, witnessing a subdued demand from upcountry buyers and local traders. The quantity offered in CTC dust was 9,17,158 kg and the market was irregular and lower, declining more towards the close. Low medium and plainer teas continue to witness a weak feature. Export enquiry was confined to the bottom of the market, the auctioneers said.

The market for orthodox dust was also lower and exporters covered a small quantity out of the 9,000 kg offered.