Bangladesh tea prices dip for sixth week

Thursday, 20 October 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

DHAKA (Reuters): Tea prices in Bangladesh eased for the sixth successive weekly auction on Tuesday as demand from buyers was subdued amid plentiful supply, brokers said.     

The average price of Bangladeshi tea edged down to 148.58 taka ($1.97) per kg against 155.21 taka at the previous weekly auction, said an official at the National Brokers Limited, the largest tea broking firm in the country.

More than 2.2 million kg of tea was offered at the country’s only auction center, in the main port city Chittagong, with 27.53 percent left unsold compared with last week’s 23 percent unsold when the offer was almost the same.

“A fairly heavy weight of tea was again on offer and met with a declining demand,” the firm said in its market report.

Bangladeshi buyers are importing tea from India, Kenya and Vietnam due to competitive prices while foreign buyers are not coming due to high costs, a broker said.

The country has become a net importer of tea after  previously ranking as the world’s fifth-largest exporter. Tea exports fell to $3.20 million in the fiscal year ended in June from $5.65 million the previous year, mainly due to growing domestic demand.

Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the main importers of Bangladeshi teas.    

The next auction will be held on next Tuesday, Oct. 25 with an offer of more than 2.2 million kg.

Different grades were sold between 70 taka and 197 taka per kg at the auction, weaker than the previous sale’s range from 80 taka to 198 taka.