Even as the demand and offtake, especially from exporters, has remained subdued since the Russia-Ukraine war broke out on February 24, the volume of tea offered for Sale No: 10 of the auctions of Coonoor Tea Trade Association to be held on Thursday and Friday has risen to among the highest of the recent weeks.

A volume of 17.66 lakh kg has been catalogued which is as much as 2.22 lakh kg more than the last week’s offer.

Although this includes teas remaining unsold in previous auctions, fresh arrival has picked up because of good harvest and production in February.

“The rainfall in the last week of January has shaped the February production favourably. Prolonged daylight hours and moderate temperature helped to increase the production by as much as 73 per cent compared to last year. Most agro-zones reported the highest productivity of the last 20 years,” KG Udaya Bhanu, Deputy Director of UPASI Tea Research Foundation, said.

Growing exporters’ concerns

“Russia is even threatening nuclear war. It has come out with a list of ‘enemy’ nations. Exporters ae not prepared to risk shipping to uncertain destinations. So, it is not just the volume on offer which matters now,” an exporter L Vairavan said.

And, in the absence of competition from exporters, upcountry buyers do not bid high.

Of the 17.66 lakh kg offered for this week’s auctions, as much as 16.50 lakh kg belongs to CTC variety and only 1.16 lakh kg orthodox variety.

The proportion of orthodox teas continues to be low in both leaf and dust grades. In the leaf tea counter, only 74,000 kg belongs to orthodox, while 11.79 lakh kg CTC.

Among the dust tea, only 42,000 kg belongs to orthodox, while 4.71 lakh kg CTC. In all, 12.53 lakh kg belongs to Leaf grades and 5.13 lakh kg Dust grades.

Previous auctions

Homedale Tea Factory created a new price record last week when its Broken Orange Pekoe leaf grade, auctioned by Global Tea Auctioneers Pvt Ltd (GTAPL), was bought by Sree Sai Corporation for ₹407 a kg.

In the CTC dust tea auctions, two grades of Homedale Estate, auctioned by GTAPL, topped at ₹380 and ₹371. All other grades got less than ₹ 300/kg.

Among other CTC teas, Crosshill Estate Special got ₹290, Darmona Estate and Pinewood Estate ₹260 each, Hiribil Excel ₹252 and Vigneshwar Estate 236.

Quotations with the brokers indicated ₹76-81 a kg for plain Leaf grades and ₹ 141-203 for the best grades.

For plain Dust grades, they ranged ₹ 75-80 and for the best grades, ₹ 140-207.