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Tea auctions deferred by a week

Calcutta, Jan. 20: The Calcutta Tea Traders Association (CTTA), which conducts tea auctions in the city, was forced to defer by a week the first auction of the new year again.

However, the decision to defer the auction till January 28 came after 48 lots of CTC were sold out of a total offering 213 lots. Total offering of tea was 3700 lots including the 213 CTC, aggregating 3.5 million kgs.

Only Tata Tea and Hindustan Lever attended the auction.

According to CTTA secretary Kalyan Sundaram, the auctions, which started at 8.30 am today, had to be stopped as a section of buyers wanted deferment. The buyers’ felt that since they were already in discussion with the Tea Board regarding the ‘controversial’ Tea Marketing Control Order, it was more appropriate to hold auctions after the outcome of the negotiations was known. The buyers are trying to meet the Union commerce minister and top officers of the ministry to press for some changes in the order.

Apart from the representatives of Tata Tea and Hindustan Lever, who took their positions in the buyers’ gallery, over 100 buyers crowded the entrance of the auction hall at Nilhat House. After 48 lots were sold, the buyers, who were waiting outside, barged into the hall and sought a meeting with the CTTA chairman K. N. Desai.

The 15-member CTTA committee then met around 11 am and decided to defer the auction by a week, Sundaram said.

Meanwhile, Tea Board chairman N. K. Das urged the buyers to return to the auctions and bring normalcy to the market.

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