Tea prices dip again on poor quality

Tea prices in Bangladesh plunged for a seventh straight week at a weekly auction on Tuesday, dragged down by end-of-season leaf that tends to be of poor quality, brokers said.

Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of 144.19 taka ($1.85) per kg at the auction, down from 146.71 taka in the previous week’s sale, when prices fell 6.5 percent, said an official from National Brokers Limited.

teaMore than 2.68 million kg was offered at the auction centre in Chittagong, with nearly 50 percent remaining unsold. At the previous auction, nearly 3.2 million kg was offered, of which 61 percent went unsold.

“There was huge demand for quality tea, which is in short supply. Larger volume of poor grade tea pulled down prices and almost half of the tea that was offered in the auction went unsold,” the official said.

Bangladeshi buyers have imported tea in bulk from neighbouring India, contributing to a glut in the domestic market and reducing demand at the auction, industry sources said.

The large volume of unsold tea prompted authorities to extend the season by two weeks to April 15, allowing for two more auctions.