Increased arrivals and subdued overseas demand dragged orthodox leaf prices at Kochi auctions this week with the average price realisation dropping by ₹3/kg.

Traders attributed declining export demand and improved Sri Lankan tea production, which is facilitating some buyers to source tea from the island nation, for the trend. These coupled with the fulfilment of export orders to Tunisian and Iraqi buyers in the current season have impacted shipments. Exports to CIS and West Asian countries were also subdued, while upcountry buyers operated selectively.


Referring to the newly introduced modifications in the auction system, traders said small buyers faced some difficulties in bidding.

Auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said the demand was fair in sale 21 with 64 per cent of the offered quantities of 3,82,565 kg in the orthodox category sold. The market was lower by ₹3 to ₹5 and the decline in price increased to the tune of ₹5 to ₹10 as the sale progressed and there were also a lot of withdrawals. Medium whole leaf and brokens were lower by ₹5-10 and witnessed heavy withdrawals on slack bidding. Secondary brokens from all segments witnessed weak features and lost in value.

CTC leaf barely remained steady and tended to ease. CTC dust prices ruled lower with the market for good liquoring teas ruling steady to firm and sometimes dearer. The rest were irregular and lower, witnessing a lot of withdrawals. Of the 8,54,774 kg on offer, 60 per cent was absorbed by blenders. There was a fair demand from loose tea traders and upcountry buyers. The average price realisation was down by ₹2 at ₹133.96 per kg. Orthodox dust was firm to dearer by ₹1 -2 and exporters absorbed a small quantity from offerings of 3,500 kg.