Agri Business

Rising freight cost dampen orthodox tea prices in Kochi auctions

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on September 24, 2021

Industry insiders say plantations in the South are facing a critical situation

Container shortage and soaring freight rates continue to hit tea prices, especially leaf varieties at Kochi auctions.

Orthodox leaf market was down with whole leaf and brokens ruling lower with a longer margin of ₹5-10 a kg. The trade also witnessed heavy withdrawal due to low bid or lack of bid. The quantity offered in sale 38 was 3,23,193 kg and only 62 per cent was sold. The average price realised was down by ₹4 at ₹143. Exporters to CIS countries and West Asia lent only a fair support.

A source in the tea trade said that the industry in the south is facing a critical situation and auction centres will depict the current scenario, registering an all round reduction in prices or averages for orthodox tea, which is seldom appreciated in the international market. The shortage of containers coupled with a phenomenal rise in freight charges is the main dampener for this unpleasant scenario, he said.

There was a fair demand for CTC leaf with 59 per cent of the offered quantity of 51,000 kg was sold. Loose tea traders and upcountry buyers lent fair support, while exporters subdued.

However, the offered quantities in the dust market was lower as erratic weather in growing regions hit arrivals to auction centres. The quantity offered in CTC dust was 9,09,807 kg and the market was irregular and lower by ₹2-5 and sometimes more. There is an improved demand from upcountry buyers.

Orthodox dust market was also lower with an offered quantity of 9,000 kg.

Another source alleged that there is a concerted effort to suppress the domestic price with cheaper imports of tea which showed a 174 per cent rise this year. Such low quality imports are neither adding any value to the consumer or to the grower and the authorities should take efforts to curb it.

Published on September 24, 2021

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