India tea prices drop on poor quality arrivals

Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MUMBAI (Reuters): Prices of tea in India, the world’s second-biggest producer, fell at last week’s auction as poor quality supplies prompted buyers to reduce prices though winter demand is expected to support.

The CTC (crush-tear-curl) grade was offered at 141.73 rupees per kg, down 1.86 per cent, while the dust variety fell 1.41 per cent to 142.93 rupees per kg.

“Prices have come down because of poor quality supplies but demand is good and is likely to prevent prices from falling further,” said a manufacturer and an exporter from Kolkata.

India exports CTC tea mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK, and the premium orthodox variety to Iraq, Iran and Russia.

Tea consumption rises in India during the winter months as people prefer it to cold drinks. Tea plucking in India usually picks up between July and October.

The average price of Kenya’s top tea grade fell to $ 4.29 per kg from $ 4.34 per kg at the previous auction, the third successive fall, brokers said on 8 January.

Sri Lanka’s tea production fell 6.1 per cent in November, its first drop in four months.

India’s tea production in October fell 4.1 per cent from a year ago to 129.68 million kg, the State-run Tea Board said, as adverse weather cut production in the top producing north-eastern Assam state.