Tea prices edge up

Tea prices and sales rose at a weekly auction in Bangladesh on Tuesday after four consecutive falls which reflected opposition-led blockades over pending elections that have hampered economic activity. Violent protests, shutdowns and blockades over the January 5 election, which is being boycotted by the main opposition, have gripped the country for the two months and forced the postponement of the tea auction on December 3.

teaAt the latest auction, Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of 193.98 taka ($2.5) per kilogram (kg) against 192.18 taka in the previous auction, an official from National Brokers Ltd said. There may not be any demonstrations on Christmas day, the official said, adding that this prompted local buyers to grab more tea at higher prices to meet winter demand.

Nearly 2 million kg of tea was offered at the auction centre in Chittagong, with 11 percent remaining unsold. Some 2.3 million kg was offered and 40 percent went unsold at the previous auction. The south Asian country produces 60 million kg of tea a year against demand of 56 million. Tea consumption is rising by 5 percent annually, in line with steady economic growth.

-Business Recorder