Higher prices and lower offerings of Sri Lankan teas have facilitated South Indian orthodox varieties to get firm enquiries from overseas buyers in Kochi auctions.

However, surging prices for South Indian brews have prompted buyers to adopt a wait-and-watch approach for the prices to drop, even as there are procurements by exporters to meet their commitments.

Traders pointed out that there are good enquiries for tea bags as 50 per cent of the world’s supply has been carried out by Sri Lanka. Indian exports are mainly through bulk quantities, while suppliers are using tea bag that too on a limited scale. The enquiries are mainly from Russia, Europe, Iran, and Turkey, traders said.

Industry sources pointed out there are several varieties of tea manufactured in India, making inroads into different markets. Tea bags are mainly smaller-size low-priced and cheaper varieties of Fannnings grades, while higher prices in the market are for whole leaves and brokens.

Strong demand for CTC Leaf

In sale 37, the quantity offered in orthodox grades was 2,61,757 kg and 82 per cent was sold. The average price realisation was ₹175. CTC leaf witnessed a strong demand with 98 per cent of the offered quantity of 33,000 kg sold with a fair support from upcountry buyers. The market was firm to dearer by ₹2 to ₹4 and sometimes more, following quality.

With the conclusion of the Onam festival season, the dust market saw a southward price movement, witnessing a lower price for CTC dust by ₹2 to ₹5. A subdued demand from local buyers and increased offerings in the auctions led the prices to drop. Blenders were selective in the buying, traders said.

The auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said prices for low medium and plainer teas were firm and occasionally dearer. The average price realisation has come down by ₹6 at ₹142 compared to ₹148 in the previous week.

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