4:42 pm - Thursday January 18, 6931

Two more tea auctions this season

Bangladesh will hold two additional tea auctions, extending the season by two weeks, as a large volume of tea remains unsold due to poor quality and a supply glut, brokers said on Thursday.

The last auction of the season will now be held on April 15, an official of the National Brokers Limited said after a meeting with the Bangladesh Tea Board.

teaIn the latest auction on Wednesday, tea prices fell for a sixth straight week, dragged down by end-of-season leaf that tends to be of poor quality.

Tea is sold at the country’s sole auction centre, in the port city Chittagong, where most of it sells to domestic buyers. Buyers from Pakistan also took part in the previous two auctions, however.

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

Bangladesh’s tea production in 2013 rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier to a record 63.5 million kg due to favourable weather.

That still fell short of domestic consumption of about 65 million kg. Bangladesh has moved from becoming a net exporter to a net importer of tea as consumption has risen.