India tea prices fall further on slack demand

India tea prices fall further on slack demand

Mumbai: Average tea prices in India, the world’s second biggest producer, continued to move southwards at last week’s auction due to lack of demand from the buyers, dealers said.

“The major bulk of the offered quantity is of inferior grade which is in sync with the crop produced at this time of the year. Hence, the weak demand continues to drag down the prices," said an official at Calcutta Tea Traders’ Association.

“However, the superior grades, though in very short supply continues to fetch good prices," said an official from J Thomas Pvt Ltd, a leading tea broking firm.

India’s tea output fell nearly a tenth in October 2010 due to bad weather and after a pest attack trimmed crop size in the biggest producing region of the country, cutting exports, the Tea Board said in a statement.

The country’s tea production in 2010 is likely to fall by 22 million kg to 957 million kg as erratic weather and a pest attack hit the crop in key growing areas, the Indian Tea Association (ITA) said in a report.

The average price of CTC (crush-tear-curl) tea was down marginally by 0.74% to Rs123.63 per kg, compared with Rs124.55 at the previous auction.

The average price of dust tea dropped by 4.05% to Rs121.79 per kg compared with Rs126.94 in the last auction.