Manual tea auction set to continue for few more weeks

Kochi, Nov 22 | Updated: Nov 23 2005, 07:33am hrs
Electronic tea auctions at the Coonoor centre would continue to be manual for a few more weeks. With the sentiments against the e-auction system still continuing and a section of the growers and traders attributing the low prices to the auction system, the Tea Board had allowed manual auction in leaf also from the last auction.

According to board authorities, the traditional open-outcry system would continue for a couple of auctions.

Prices improved slightly by Rs 2-3 with even the bottom ones showing the trend, and traders felt that the sentiments in favour of manual auction had helped to a certain extent. With the Tea Board undertaking stringent measures to maintain quality, the quantity being plucked had come down drastically over the last few months. However, the improved quality did not show on the prices which continued to remain low.

As a result a section of the growers and traders, including the over 107 bought leaf factories in the region, had met the Tea Board authorities seeking some relief. While there was the charge that e-auctions did not give much scope for price discovery, the board decided to put on hold the system for a few auctions and watch the situation. This has also led to the bought leaf factories calling off their proposed agitation, sources said.