Slack demand has hit tea offtake at the Coonoor auctions, with a lower percentage of sold quantities both in the CTC and leaf grades.

Sale 48 saw a slightly easier tendency as a liquidity crunch at the end of the season may have impacted demand, traders said. Only 80 per cent of the 13,88,223 kg offered in leaf grades, and 69 per cent of the 4,79,041 kg offered in dust grades was sold.

Global Tea Auctioneers said primary whole leaf grades had fair demand and sold barely steadily to easier by Rs 2 to 3. Brokens also showed less demand and sold lower by Rs 3 to Rs 4, and more at times, with some withdrawals.

In leaf CTC, the high-priced better liquoring sorts were dearer by Rs 3 to 4, and more at times, with some in line with quality.

In CTC dust, the high priced and better liquoring sorts were barely steady to easier by Rs 3 to 4, and more at times, with some withdrawals. Generally, lower demand was noticed in CTC dust sale. In dust orthodox, primary orthodox grades had fair demand and sold fully firm to dearer by Rs 2 to 3.

Rajesh Gupta, Managing Director, Global Tea Auctioneers, said the country’s monthly production had dropped to 161 million kg in October 2022, compared to 193 million kg in October 2021. The 10-month production (January to October) was 1,145 million kg, against 1,156 million kg in 2021, a decline of 11 million kg.

All the other major black tea producing countries witnessed a substantial drop in production (10 months) with Sri Lanka (46.22 million kg), Kenya (4.66 million kg), Bangladesh (4.13 million kg) and Malawi (4.16 million kg).