Buying spree. Export demand boosts orthodox tea prices at Kochi auctions

One exporters buys over one lakh kg of the 3.74 lakh on offer
Tea exporters are on a buying spree from the Kochi auctions to meet their commitments to Russia and Europe before the onset of winter.
This is evident from the procurement made by a single exporter from Kochi auctions for more than a lakh kg out of the offered quantity of 3,74,577 kg in sale 45. The onset of winter makes shipments difficult and the consignments have to be dispatched by now so as to reach the concerned destinations in Russia, Europe by the first week of December, a trader said.
An exporter said the availability of lower quantity Sri Lankan teas in the global markets, the demand-supply mismatch; rising prices of Kenyan tea are all contributing factors for Indian orthodox tea to fetch good demand.
However, he said the internet shut-down in Iran due to political unrest is posing a problem for exporters in submitting the bills on time for their consignments, which in turn, delaying the payments as well.
Dipak Shah, Chairman, South India Tea Exporters Association, said that both orthodox and CTC categories are buoyant, thanks to aggressive Russian buying mainly because of the higher prices for Kenyan tea. The domestic and export markets were active with a strong demand for good quality and lower segment teas. Coonoor auctions prices are also picking up which is evident from the increase in sales percentage at 92 per cent compared to 72 per cent a few weeks back.
The auctioneers Forbes, Ewart & Figgis said widespread demand from overseas destinations has pushed up orthodox tea prices, witnessing Rs5 per kg increase in average price realisation.
Traders pointed out that there were good export orders from Iran, Iraq, Turkey and other CIS countries. Orthodox leaf market witnessed a strong demand with 93 per cent of the offered quantity being sold. The average price realised was Rs 173 compared to Rs 167 in the previous week. CTC leaf also witnessed a strong demand. 97 per cent of the offered quantity was sold.