CTC and dust, which are mostly consumed in India and account for bulk of the north Indian tea production, had witnessed marginal rise in average prices in the last fiscal over the previous year
The first auction of the new season teas in Calcutta kicked off with a twist.
While the CTC leaf and dust tea opened lower than last year, orthodox and Darjeeling leaf variety started the season on a stronger note.
The auction took place earlier this week with gardens sending fresh crops of the season for sale. The quantity traded was low but expected to pick up from the next two auctions.
CTC and dust, which are mostly consumed in India and account for bulk of the north Indian tea production, had witnessed marginal rise in average prices in the last fiscal over the previous year.
In the sale no. 14, conducted by Calcutta Tea Traders Association, CTC (crush, tear, curl) teas fetched Rs 197.83 a kilogram on average, 11.3 per cent lower than the sale no.14 of 2022. Likewise, dust teas opened 11.2 per cent lower than the same sale of 2022 but with much lower quantities. (See chart)
On average, CTC prices inched up marginally in FY23 over FY22, from Rs 202.53 a kg to Rs 207.27 a kg. Dust tea prices had risen to Rs 217.33 a kg in FY23 over the previous financial year.
Orthodox teas opened significantly higher in this season even though it is lower than the average fetched during last year.
The variety of leaf tea, which are mostly exported to the West Asian countries viz UAE, Iran, Iraq and to Russia, had seen significant jump.
The first auction with new season teas, though lower than the last year’s average, is higher by Rs 57 a kg representing a gain of 30 per cent.
The average orthodox tea prices stood at Rs 282.39 a kg in FY23 compared with Rs 228.98 a kg in FY22, a gain of 23.3 per cent. The gains mostly came from the export market as India managed to corner a bit of the vacuum created due to lower production and export from Sri Lanka.
“Prices depend on the quality of teas which are offered in the auction. It is just the beginning of the season. A robust trend will emerge after a few more sales when the quantity picks up,” said Kalyan Sundaram, secretary of the CTTA, which conducts the auction in Calcutta.
Darjeeling leaf tea opened higher even as the industry does not pay much heed as the quality first flush are almost entirely sold in private sale and exported.
Only a fraction of the low quality teas come to auction this time of the year and are picked up by the local traders here in Calcutta.