P S SUNDAR @ Coonoor

The easing of lockdown in some States has increased the demand, purchase volume and price of The Nilgiri teas.

At this week’s auctions of Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA), the average price rose to the all-time high level of ₹ 137.11 per kg, auction sources told TNIE on Sunday.

Teas of some small scale units, popularly called bought leaf factories, have fetched impressive prices.

The Red Dust grade of the Coonoor-based bought leaf factory Homedale Tea Industry, auctioned by Global Tea Brokers, topped the entire auction when Pankaj and Devendra Trading Co., bought it for ₹ 291.

The Pekoe Dust grade of Homedale factory, auctioned by Global Tea Brokers, followed at ₹ 281.

These two grades fetched prices higher than the teas from any other factory, corporate or bought leaf.

During the prolonged lockdown, stock of tea had dried up with the traders in upcountry markets.

Once the lockdown was eased, traders began to source their teas but were affected by the high prices prevailing in the North Indian auctions.

Besides, North India had lost over 57 per cent of the production due to adverse weather as also lockdown restrictions.

On the contrary, production showed increase in the South due to favourable weather and allowing the tea industry to function even during the total lockdown days.

Additionally, the quality of The Nilgiris teas has increased significantly as the volume of secondary and tertiary grades has come down due to lockdown restrictions in working condition.

Consequently, traders in upcountry markets like Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab are purchasing The Nilgiris teas at higher prices during the last few weeks.

Since mid-June, the average price at CTTA auctions has been regularly ruling above ₹ 100/kg and also rising week after week.

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