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regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Tea auction houses form new association, seek to design, operate new auction system

The formation of the Association of Tea Auctioneers (ATA) comes at a time the auction system had to undergo a change after demand from cross section of tea trade. From this week onwards, the old English auction system has been reintroduced, junking the Bharat auction model

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 11.11.23, 12:37 PM
ATA conducted a private sale under manual auction system in Calcutta on Friday

ATA conducted a private sale under manual auction system in Calcutta on Friday Sourced by the Telegraph

A band of tea auction houses have expressed its willingness to design and operate tea auctions in India under the aegis of the Association of Tea Auctioneers (ATA), a newly formed body representing India’s leading auctioneers.

The Association has recently met officials of the Union ministry of commerce, expressing its readiness to design and/or operate a new auction system, if the government agrees. At present, the Tea Board is the nodal agency that runs tea auctions in the country.

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The formation of the new association comes at a time the auction system had to undergo a change following demand from a cross section of tea trade. From this week onwards, the old English auction system has been reintroduced, junking the Bharat auction model which was ushered in earlier this year in north India.

Tea producers had blamed the Bharat auction system for poor price discovery, which depressed the market further. Many of the auctioneers were also against the Bharat auction model.

The ATA wants to place itself in a position that if and when the opportunity comes, it should be able to design and operate a new platform.

Given that the government may repeal the Tea Act and the role and responsibility of the Tea Board is still under a cloud after the proposed transformation, there may be an opportunity to develop a new platform and take over the tea auction in the country by a third party other than the Tea Board in future.

To begin with, the association, with 13 auction houses from north and south India, is forming a platform to protect and safeguard the interest of the auction house.

“There was no association of auction houses, even though we are an important constituent of the tea sector. There are associations of buyers, exporters and producers but not auctioneers, so far,” Sujit Patra, secretary of the ATA, said.

In the run-up to Deepawali on Sunday, the ATA conducted a private sale under manual auction in Calcutta on Friday. About 3.69 lakh kilos of orthodox teas were sold in a manual auction. Tea catalogues were offered by J Thomas, Parcon, Contemporary & Parcon.

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