DHAKA: Tea prices in Bangladesh fell for a third straight week at the weekly auction despite tight supplies, although strong demand for quality leaf capped a steeper decline.
Bangladeshi tea fetched an average of 209.64 taka ($2.60) per kg at the weekly auction on Tuesday, down from 215.35 taka in the previous sale, the National Brokers said. There was subdued demand from local buyers while supplies were lower than last week but strong demand for quality tea helped limit a steeper drop in prices, a senior National Brokers official said. About 22 percent of the 2.53 million kg offered at the sole auction centre in Chittagong remained unsold. In the previous auction, 23.2 percent of the 2.76 million kg on offer was unsold.
Bangladesh’s tea output rose nearly 27 percent last year to a record 85 million kg, a harvest that was seen big enough to make imports unnecessary. The south Asian country was the world’s fifth-largest tea exporter in the 1990s, but is now a net importer due to a surge in domestic consumption. Bangladeshi buyers have imported tea in bulk from India, Thailand and Malaysia, contributing to a glut in the domestic market and reducing demand at auctions, industry insiders said.