The Colombo Tea Auction saw a total of 5.4 MnKg comprising of 9,304 lots come under the hammer this week, a dip compared to the 6.5 MnKg offered to the corresponding sale in 2019.
Although the teas on offer were considered low quantity for the time of the year, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers reported the demand was good.
Ex-Estate offerings were similar to last and totalled 0.6 MnKgs. “Overall, quality was preferable with a better selection of teas on offer. There was strong demand for the BOPF grade with much less demand for the BOP’s, which at times, were neglected,” the brokers said.
Best Western BOP’s declined Rs. 30 per kg and more, whilst the corresponding BOPF’s gained Rs. 10-20 per kg.
In the Below Best category, BOP’s were irregular, whereas the plainer sorts declined Rs. 30-50 per kg.
Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers noted that the corresponding BOPF’s were firm and Rs. 10-20 per kg dearer. NuwaraEliya BOP’s were mostly unsold, whilst the BOPF’s gained up to Rs. 20 per kg. Uva/Uda Pussellawa BOP’s were barely steady.
Corresponding BOPF’s, particularly from the Uda Pussellawa Region gained substantially at the commencement of the Sale and were dearer as the Sale progressed, whilst the others together with the Uva’s were firm and up to Rs. 20 per kg dearer.
The brokers pointed out that over the past several weeks, prices for the BOP grade have continued to decline, but the BOPF grade witnessed a firm to dearer trend.
Consequently, the BOPF grade recorded a price advantage of up to Rs. 200 per kg over the corresponding BOP grade.
“Following strong demand for the BOPF grade, there is virtually no price differentiation based on the qualitative aspects, which in fact is discouraging for those who have produced a premium product. Perhaps with more regular volumes on offer at the ensuing sales, we anticipate a correction,” the brokers said.
Low Growns comprised of 2.5 MnKgs in the Leafy/Tippy catalogues. This week’s auction saw good demand at lower levels.
In the Leafy catalogue, better made BOP1/OP1’s were lower to last, whilst a selection of clean teas in the Below Best category held firm. Better OP/OPA’s too were mostly lower.
“Here again, there was better demand for the cleaner Below Best varieties which held firm. At the lower end, prices were generally easier to last,” it said.
Select range of PEK/PEK1’s maintained, however, all others were irregular and lower to last. In the Tippy catalogue, the brokerssaid FBOP/FF1’s were generally easier to last barring a few selected well-made teas that maintained.
Meanwhile, at the lower end too, prices were generally lower compared to the previous. In the Premium catalogue, there was good demand and prices were fully firm to dearer for most teas.