5:15 pm - Friday May 13, 5087

Tea shows gloom ahead of election

Tea prices in Bangladesh fell and sales dipped at a weekly auction on Tuesday ahead of elections on Jan. 5 which the main opposition has boycotted.

teaAt the latest auction, Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of 191.64 taka ($2.50) per kg against 193.98 taka in the previous auction held on Dec. 24, an official from National Brokers Ltd said.

Nearly 2 million kg of tea was offered at the auction centre in Chittagong, with 27 percent remaining unsold. Almost the same volume was offered and 11 percent went unsold at the previous auction.

Rolling violent protests, shutdowns and transport blockades staged by the opposition to thwart the elections have crippled economic activity and forced the postponement of the tea auction on Dec. 3.

The South Asian country produces 60 million kg of tea a year against demand of 56 million.