Tea Auction Update: CTC tea prices pick up

CTC tea prices are picking up again after a four month lull, with winter buying nearing and quality levels improving.

Sri Lanka’s long April and May holiday season is blamed, which annually contributes to a quality drop and a subsequent backlog of made teas.

CTC tea prices were at Rs. 154 at this week’s auction, down from Rs. 204 levels in March, prior to the holiday season.

July’s monthly average at Rs. 144.37 was however below the March Rs. 204.53.

Forbes Commodity Brokers said that the monthly average moved up in the last two auctions, moving into the Rs. 150 levels.

Sri Lanka is not a significant CTC manufacturer, with only a fraction of the former colonial island’s average 300 million kilo tea production accounting for CTC teas.

The limited quantity, the reputation for Ceylon tea’s quality and a demand by local tea bagging operations has ensured a price for Sri Lankan CTCs.

Sri Lanka’s weekly gross sales average (average of all teas sold) meanwhile is at 166.98.

The monthly average is however at Rs. 180.33, reflecting the price drop triggered off during and after the April and May holiday season and the high Rs. 200 level prices Lankan teas fetched earlier in the year.