India Price Watch
April 2nd, 2021
There was no Sale 12 in north India due to insufficient quantities of tea while the south remained busy.
In Kochi, CTC dust enjoyed 91% demand. The main buyers were Kerala Supplyco and other packeteers. Orthodox dust saw less demand with buyers from north India and a few exporters. Average price was 164.15 rupees with 9% unsold. Orthodox leaf saw good demand with 93% sold at an average price of INRs 175.17. The whole leaf Nilgiris black tea found takers among exporters to CIS countries and the Middle East. Coimbatore also saw a higher leaf sale for orthodox tea with nearly 93% sold for an average price of INRs 175.22. In comparison, Coonoor saw 87% sold at an average price of INRs150.43 for the same category. In the south, combined dust and leaf sale was highest in Kochi for both average price and percentage sold. In CTC tea, south India combined saw 2.8 m.kg on offer, with 77% sold. Green tea seems to command better prices. A smaller volume of green tea (691 kilos) was offered and 588 kilos picked up for an average price of INRs 270.43.
A quick glance at prices across the south Indian auctions indicates minimal fluctuations over four weeks, of Sales 9 through 12. Of the four auction centres in the south, Kochi, Coonoor, Coimbatore and Tea Serve, Kochi shows the highest prices at about INRs 163 followed by Coimbatore, Coonor and Tea Serve (at about INRs 113).
The highest auction price this month was for a green tea from Pascoe’s Woodlands for INRs 285 (Sale 11) while a BOP grade CTC tea from Pinewood Estates sold for INRs 303 (Sale 12).
Dust tea was the main seller with the Kerala state civil supplies corporation or Supplyco in Kerala being a major buyer. Exports from upcountry and CIS countries were as expected.
The financial year ended 31st March in India. As the new year begins, and the north Indian auctions opening to sufficient teas, the coming month should be more active.
We caught with Krishnendu Chatterjee, COO of the Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates Pvt. Ltd. The company owns 14 tea estates in the region, including the famous, Ambootia. As April begins, he hits a worried note when he talks about the dry weather. But he is optimistic that there will be showers soon. Weather forecasts indicate rain around the 6th April. However, he adds that the quality of the teas at the moment is very good, in part because the weather because there is such a thing as too much rain.
Twelve of the group’s 14 estates are still producing EX markings. Markets and prices have met expectations, especially after four difficult years. Chatterjee adds that while traditional markets of Germany and the EU and Japan continue to remain significant, the company is also looking at non-traditional markets of Denmark, Poland, Cambodia, Vietnam and Greece where both tea, and organic produce are finding more takers.
Featured image: Ambootia tea estate, Darjeeling courtesy Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates Pvt. Ltd.