Kochi bids to regain its position as the largest tea auction center in the South.


The tea board's efforts to monitor the quality of tea at the auction were hailed as a positive step.  (Photo courtesy of Freepik)
The tea board’s efforts to monitor the quality of tea at the auction were hailed as a positive step. (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

The Tea Buyers Association of Cochin has expressed concern over the significant decline in the quantity of tea offered at the Kochi auction. They are urging their members to take action to restore Kochi’s status as the premier auction center in the southern region of India.

During the 49th Annual General Meeting, Anjuman President, Anil Kumar N Prabhu emphasized the need for Kochi to regain its position as the center of the high quality tea trade.

To achieve this, sellers should contribute by implementing a “cash and carry” system, offering payment split options to buyers.

Comparing the auction figures, it was found that Kochi-Cochin sold 51,808 tonnes, while Coonoor had 73,786 tonnes, and Coimbatore 17,433 tonnes.

Despite lower volumes, Kochi maintained a competitive edge with an average price of ₹141.35 per tonne compared to ₹95.86 in Kannur and ₹107.05 in Coimbatore.

President Prabhu emphasized the importance of unity within the industry and called upon all buyer members of the Tea Trade Association of Cochin to join the Tea Buyers Association to strengthen their collective voice and influence.

The tea board has come under scrutiny for its failure to adapt the Bharat auctions introduced nearly two years ago, particularly in Kerala, to the specific conditions of South Indian tea auctions.

The closure of TBoard’s Kochi office and the withdrawal of NSEiT support staff reportedly posed significant challenges to association members. However, the Tea Board’s efforts to monitor the quality of tea at the auction were hailed as a positive step.

Regarding tea production, President Prabhu highlighted that Kerala produced 67.77 million kg in 2022, showing a significant increase from 62.62 million kg in 2021.

However, overall South Indian tea production declined from 235.7 million kg in 2021 to 231.83 million kg in 2022, a decline of 3.87 million kg.

In contrast, total tea exports from South India increased to 83.78 million kg in 2022, representing an increase of 1.28 million kg from 82.6 million kg in 2021.

The Tea Buyers’ Association of Cochin is concerned about the decline in the quantity of tea auctioned in Kochi and is urging its members to work together to restore Kochi’s importance in the tea trade. Do the work. He also called for reforms in auction practices and expressed concern over the Tea Board’s lack of responsiveness to the needs of the industry despite positive initiatives in monitoring tea quality. The association noted an increase in tea production in Kerala but an overall slight decline in South Indian tea production. However, exports from the region showed marginal improvement.

First Published: 27 Sep 2023, 12:30 IST


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