Sale No. 21 which was concluded today was a restricted sale on account of the intervening Vesak holidays and comprised of approximately 6.0 M/Kgs. Good teas in almost all categories continued to sell at firm to dearer rates, whilst the others were irregularly easier.
Covid-19 related issues continue to be a challenge for the smooth functioning of the tea trade with restricted work schedules, low productivity due poor staff turnout, restricted movement of cargo owing to the non-availability of vessels on a regular basis and the congestion in the warehouses as a consequence - no doubt these factors would have taken a toll on prices. Ex-Estate offerings comprised of 0.9 M/Kgs. Overall quality of teas on offer showed a general decline and consequently, a larger weight of teas comprised of a fair average quality/plainer teas. The limited availability of better teas, both BOP/BOPF's, sold at firm to dearer rates with select invoices appreciating Rs. 30-50 per kg - indeed encouraging. Teas in the Below Best and Plainer categories continued to weaken further primarily following quality and its increased availability. Nuwara Eliya BOP/BOPF's sold well considering the available quality perhaps owing to its limited availability. From the Uva/Uda Pussellawa regions, teas in the higher price bracket continued to weaken following quality, whilst the plainer poor leaf types 'tea for price category' remained more or less firm.
High and Mid Grown CTC teas which have over the past several weeks declined quite significantly in value were barely maintained and sold around last week's levels with prices ranging between Rs. 470-490 per kg for a greater majority of the offerings. However, select invoices with reasonable leaf structure and coloury/bright liquors were often absorbed at dearer rates once again perhaps due to its limited availability. Low Growns continued to sell around last with price fluctuations reflective of quality variances.
Low Growns comprised 2.6 M/Kgs in the Leafy/Semi Leafy and Tippy catalogues. There was fair demand for well-made teas, whilst the others met with less interest. Well-made OP1/BOP1's were firm, whilst the others declined following quality. A range of well-made OP/OPA's met with improved demand, whilst the others and poorer sorts declined. Better PEK/PEK1's were fully firm to dearer, whilst a range of bolder varieties met with improved demand. Others and poorer sorts declined substantially.