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Assam tea sets new record
- A line of Mahaluxmi CTC tea sells at Rs 302 a kg

Guwahati, Jan. 12: Assam tea has broken a record, yet again!

A line of Mahaluxmi CTC tea today sold for Rs 302 a kg, bettering its previous record by Rs 1 per kg within 15 days. The earlier best price was fetched on December 28.

The tea was sold under sale number 2 at 10.30am today at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre for a Delhi-based buyer. The grade was BP (Broken Pekoe).

“We have consistently been making good tea throughout the year and today’s prices are a reflection of that,” A. Rahman, director of Mohijuli Tea Company, told The Telegraph.

He said Assam tea was known for its quality; if paid a little attention, it would fetch very good prices. “We pay attention right from the time of plucking so that the quality is the best,” he said.

Mahaluxmi garden and another garden at Tezalpatty, both owned by Mohijuli, together produce about 10 lakh kg of black tea annually on a 500-hectare area. Both the gardens are located at Biswanath Chariali in Sonitpur district of Assam.

While some might say this is just for one line of tea, sources say this is an encouraging trend for Assam tea as good prices continuously push up the value of the brand.

With record prices being fetched at the auction centre, buyers might purchase more from here. The Guwahati Auction Centre is the third largest CTC auction centre in the world. Characteristics like rich malty flavour, fuller body, bright colour, briskness and sweet aroma has made Assam tea a hot favourite among tea enthusiasts all over the world. “When the time for second flush (June-July) comes, we might get better prices,” an official of the company said.

A source said the Rs 302 per kg-tea will be sold at around Rs 400 at the retail level.

Manoj Sethia of Maruti Enterprises, who bought the tea for a Delhi-based buyer, said the tea manufacturing process of the garden was very good which ensured good price.

Kamal Chandra Das, vice-president of Paramount Tea Marketing (P) Limited, said although the season for tea had ended, the trend for better tea was continuing. “Good tea will always fetch good prices in whichever season,” he said.

Paramount was the broker for Mahaluxmi tea. Das said this also boded well for electronic auctions as it was fetching good prices and the process was transparent. “There was a lot of opposition earlier to e-auction but with good results, the trend has now found favour,” he said.

Assam has been at the forefront in demanding and ensuring major value-added features in the e-auction programme.

“This is a good trend and more people will buy tea from GTAC now,” Lalit Jalan of Assam Tea Traders, a tea buyer, said.

“The emphasis should be on producing good tea and people will pay for quality tea,” he said.