Record in kitty, GTAC sits pretty

186 million kg tea auctioned last year

Guwahati Tea Auction Centre

Guwahati: The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre, the largest CTC auction centre in the country, broke its record by selling 186 million kg of tea in 2017. This is also the highest quantity sold across all nine auction centres in the country.

According to statistics furnished by the GTAC, it sold 186.13 million kg of tea last year at an average price of Rs 140.04 per kg, totalling Rs 2,606 crore. It had sold 161.50 million kg in 2016 at an average price of Rs 137.45 per kg.

“This is the highest quantity of tea we have sold since the centre’s inception in 1970. This shows that it enjoys the support of all stakeholders,” an official at the centre said. Calcutta auction sold 168.25 million kg in 2017 but with a higher average auction price of Rs 160.25 per kg. In 2016, it had sold 142.47 million kg at Rs 162.04 per kg. Calcutta has an advantage in orthodox teas which fetches higher prices than CTC teas.

At the GTAC, the total quantity sold through the auction route was 165.59 million kg while 20.54 million kg was sold privately. The price fetched through the auction route was Rs 140.78 per kg while teas sold privately fetched Rs 133.90 per kg. The average price for CTC tea was Rs 135.34, orthodox tea fetched Rs 186.19 while dust tea got Rs 150.69.

The highlight of GTAC in 2017 was speciality teas coming up strongly and fetching record prices. Donyi Polo garden of Arunachal Pradesh fetched a record price of Rs 18,801 per kg for its golden needles while several other varieties of speciality tea also fetched remunerative prices.

“There was a feeling that superior teas never fetched good prices. But the situation has changed completely. Speciality teas have made a sparkling debut and there seems to be no slowing down,” the official said. “Rare and expensive teas like white tea did well and buyers from Guwahati sold it in the city market. Yellow tea made its debut last year and another sale of yellow tea is coming up in sale 4 this year,” he added.

“There could be newer varieties this year,” a broking company official said. The GTAC was set up in 1970 to help the tea industry play a pivotal role in the state’s economy and enable local entrepreneurs get a slice of trade.

ROOPAK GOSWAMI Telegraph India

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