August 21, 2012 / 10:18 AM / in 5 years

India tea prices ease on sluggish demand

MUMBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Tea prices in India, the world's
second biggest producer, edged lower at last week's auction on
weak demand, though a drop in supplies limited the downside,
dealers and industry officials said on Tuesday.
    The price of CTC (crush-tear-curl) tea eased 0.9 percent to
148.98 rupees ($2.68) per kg, while dust tea price edged down
1.7 percent to 151.26 rupees per kg.
    "Demand was slightly weak last week, but this is not
indicating a trend. Fluctuations in supplies are likely to keep
prices firm," said an official at Calcutta Tea Trader's
Association.
    India's tea production rose for the first time in nine
months in June to 122.2 million kg, up 6.5 percent from a year
earlier. 
    The country's tea production in the first six months of 2012
fell 5.7 percent on year to 338 million kg as unfavourable
weather in the top-producing north eastern state of Assam
hampered plucking earlier this year.
    India exports CTC tea mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK,
and the premium orthodox variety to Iraq, Iran and Russia.
    
    Prices in the latest auction (Aug. 14, 16)
     (Quantity in kg; price in rupees per kg)
---------------------------------------------------------------
 Variety    Offered quantity     Sold quantity     Average Price
---------------------------------------------------------------
  CTC Leaf     1907934              1404353           148.98 
  Dust tea      977046               773905           151.26
    
    Prices in the last auction (Aug. 7, 8, 9)
--------------------------------------------------------------
    CTC Leaf     3120226             2452090          150.26 
    Dust tea     1566455             1175015          154.03
    
    Source: Calcutta Tea Traders' Association
    ($1= 55.5 rupees)

 (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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