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Tea volumes drop to 18-month low

Tea volumes drop to 18-month low

Auction offerings decline significantly on weather woes, lowest since March 2017

Tea auction volumes continued to decline due to adverse weather conditions in the tea-growing regions, tea brokers said yesterday, with the lowest volume on offer since March 2017.

Auction No. 38, the catalogues for which were closed last week, totalled 5.2M/kg, of which Ex-Estate offerings comprised 0.6M/kg, Forbes and Walker said in their latest auction report.

Auction offerings declined significantly and totalled 5.8M/kg. There was fair general demand all-round, mostly at firm to easier rates, it added.

Ex-Estate offerings totalled 0.73M/kg, recording a decline over 0.8M/kg on offer the previous week.

Overall, quality showed a general decline. Consequently, the majority of the better tea lost out in value with the seasonal Uvas recording a sharp decline in prices. Best Western BOPs were mostly easier following quality, whilst the corresponding BOPFs declined Rs. 10-20 per kg, barring a few select invoices which appreciated following special inquiry.

In the Below Best category, BOPs declined up to Rs. 20 per kg, whilst the BOPFs were firm to irregularly easier. At the lower end, coloury BOPs gained Rs. 10-20 per kg, whilst the thin liquoring teas were neglected. Corresponding BOPFs - neat leaf invoices gained Rs. 20 per kg, whilst the others were irregular.

Nuwara Eliya BOPs were irregular and barely steady whilst the corresponding BOPFs declined Rs. 20 per kilogram. Udapussellawas remained irregular following quality. Uva seasonal teas were substantially lower following limited inquiry and the general decline in quality. Coloury BOPs were firm, whilst their corresponding BOPF declined up to Rs. 20 per kg. The limited availability of liquoring leafy teas met with improved demand and appreciated substantially on their last levels.

A total of 2.8M/kg came up for sale in the Leafy/Tippy catalogues. There was fair demand. In the Leafy catalogue, better made BOP1/OP1s sold at dearer rates. Others were barely steady following quality. Select best PEK/PEK1s too were firm to dearer whilst others declined. OP/OPAs were in general irregular and lower barring a few select best teas that held firm.

In the Tippy catalogue select best FBOP/FF1s together with the cleaner secondaries met with better demand this week and were mostly firm to dearer. Prices declined where others quality was not maintained.

At the lower end too cleaner varieties gained Rs. 5-10 per kg and more. In the Premium catalogue, prices were mostly irregular and lower compared to the preceding sale. There was fair demand from CIS, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya, Turkey and Dubai.

(FT)

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