The absence of sales in Kolkata auctions due to winter has led to North Indian buyers scouting for tea from Kochi. This has generated good demand for orthodox leaves, leading to 86 per cent sales out of the 1,82,122 kg offered in sale number 9.

Auctioneers Forbes, Ewart& Figgis said sale 9,11 and 12 for CTC leaf and Dust are being dropped in Kolkata, Guwahati and Siliguri because of winter holidays.

Traders said the focus of North Indian buyers has shifted to Kochi, at least for the time being, to meet their export commitments and the market witnessed good demand for high-priced quality teas as well as poor medium-quality quality teas, which is mainly shipped to Iraq, African countries.

Purchases set to continue

The North Indian buying is expected to continue for the next few weeks until tea factories there reopens after winter holidays by March end. During this period, the prices in Kochi centre is likely to move up, traders said.

Asked whether the suspension of auctions in Coonoor will benefit Kochi, traders replied in the negative, saying both the centres are selling different types of teas.

The average price realisation in Kochi was up by ₹4 at ₹142 per kg for orthodox leaf. The market for Nilgiri whole leaf and brokens was firm to dearer following quality. Exporters to CIS, Middle East countries and Tunisia were active besides the upcountry interest for whole leaf, brokens and Fannings.

CTC leaf market was also good with Kerala and upcountry buyers remaining the main stakeholders. 

In CTC dust, good liquoring teas was firm and sometimes dearer especially popular marks of Kerala. The offered quantity was 6,43,807 kg with a sales percentage of 90. The average price realisation was up by ₹1 at ₹138.70.