Bangladesh tea dips for 4th week on poor grade

Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:30pm IST

DHAKA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Tea prices in Bangladesh eased in
a fourth straight weekly auction on Tuesday as a larger volume
of end of season low grade leaf dented demand, brokers said.
    The average price of Bangladeshi tea slipped sharply to
233.65 taka ($2.9) per kg against 263.50 taka last week, an
official at National Brokers Limited said.
    Around 1.74 million kg of tea were offered at Bangladesh's 
sole auction centre in Chittagong, with more than 29 percent 
unsold, compared with 1.66 million kg offered with 28 percent 
unsold in the previous auction. 
    Nearly 1.7 million kg will be offered at the next auction on
Feb. 26. Tea sold at the Chittagong auction is mostly bought by 
domestic buyers.   
    Last January, Bangladesh's tax authority imposed a 25  
percent duty on tea imports to safeguard the local industry.  
    The south Asian country produces 60 million kg of tea a year
against demand of 56 million. Tea consumption is rising by 4.5 
percent annually, in line with steady economic growth.

 (Reporting by Ruma Paul; editing by James Jukwey)

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