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Mr. Aniruddh Chakravarty (Vice President Tea Marketing), TEA AUCTION LTD.
Q: It has been reported that Chinese teas are available in the Indian market. How do you think this will affect the already beleagured tea industry?
A: I don't think the Tea Industry is beleaguered. Producers making decent teas are rewarded well and the accent should continue to be on quality. As regards to Chinese teas' availability at throw away prices are concerned, ridiculous prices which are heard in the market, doesn't seem to be realistic, as Chinese tea brought in through official channels would attract a freight almost equal to the prices heard.
Q: It is widely anticipated the market this year will be even lower, than last year, especially from the post second flush period. What are your comments on this?
A: The price concertina would reflect a wide gap, between the good and the plainer categories. Levels would depend partially on the offerings and price levels in Mombassa and Sri Lanka amongst the major auction centers as regards export enquiry is concerned. Domestic market will however hold the levels of good categories.
Mr. Arun Majumdar - Pahargoomiah Exports
Q: What will be the export scenario for the next one month?
A: According to Mr. Arun MAjumdar, a thoroughbred exporter in bulk & packet tea: 'The traditional exporters are rather selective this year and are unlikely to operate with strength. Similar sluggish enquiry is foreseen from Japan & Germany. CIS & Poland are importing teas mostly thruogh third countries. Direct import is centered in Southern India due to teh price advantage. The usual U.K. buyers are likely to start operating on post second flush teas, but the volumes are likely to be very low as they are buying mostly from Mombasa at very competitive.
Mr. Ashok Sadhya, Vice President, Hanuman Tea Co. Ltd.
In brief do you have any suggestions to improve the current auction system?
Q: What are your views on the Indian tea market?
Undoubtedly going through a bad phase. When the market is so low it is
bad for all concerned and not just sellers, the buyers too go through
a rough time as with rapidly falling prices they have a hard time justifying
their last weeks purchase prices.
Mr. Sushil Bagla (Managing Director) Hanuman Tea Co. Ltd.
Sushil Bagla had the opportunity of recently visiting Japan. Subsequently
he went with a business delegation of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce
and Industry on invitation from the Government of China’s agencies. We
are pleased to bring you teauction.com’s interview with Mr. Bagla. On
Japan: “During my visit to Japan I visited Osaka, a beautiful city, one
of the best in Japan. It is a very large commercial center including for
tea. There are a few buyers of tea in Osaka. They are very selective and
very cautions about quality. They are very particular about the chemical
content of fertilisers used in the manufacture of tea in India. One thing
definite is that they do not want to buy ordinary tea and are interested
only in the premium segment. Concentration is on Orthodox teas but recently
some of them are interested in high premium CTCs. Price is no criteria
for them. In case they like the tea, they are prepared to pay any reasonable
price. There are good prospects of developing tea trade in Japan. “On-China:
The Chinese were extremely courteous and very helpful. In Trade and Industry
China has grown tremendously in the last 15 years though there has been
a little slow down in the last two years. They are hardly interested in
importing anything from India but are interested in exporting any and
every commodity in bulk (to the tune of numbers of containers per month)
including tea. They mainly manufacture Orthodox tea, which is of poor
quality, but recently they have started manufacturing CTC, which is of
extremely poor quality and has hardly any flavour. They have green tea
and flavoured teas for mass consumption, which is of course not very much
liked in India. These flavoured teas carry a lot of scent of flowers like
jasmine, rose etc. Though there is plenty of scope of trade between the
two countries, it cannot be a one-way traffic. They are highly appreciative
of India being a super power in the IT industry! Though China has a language
problem the government has now made it compulsory to study English language.”
Packet Tea Sales – are they sluggish or are brands such as Tez and Premium
Gold taking time to build up? Where do you placed yourselves Vis a Vis
HLL and Tata Tea?
Market is sluggish. Sales of Tez tea have grown considerably in the last
quarter. Premium Gold is the same as last year. We are No.4 in the market.
HLL and Tata are ahead.
What is your forecast for the packet tea market?
predict a growth for the packet tea market rather than a decline. There
is a lot more marketing inputs for packet teas this year.
My opinion is that prices are not inclined to fluctuate relative
to last year.
I am strongly of the view that Internet marketing has come to stay and
no commodity can avoid the reality of making the product available through
this new medium. Therefore the sooner the global tea industry gears themselves
to internet marketing in addition to the established channels such as
the auction system the better it would be to all concerned i.e. producer,
broker, buyer and right down the supply chain to the ultimate consumer.
However there is definitely a silver lining. Oil prices have shot up and
held on for quite sometime now which is helping Russia, which is oil rich,
tremendously. One positive step that the Russians have taken is the nationalization
of import duties on bulk tea vis-à-vis packet tea. Our government needs
to take more aggressive since with regard to exports of tea to Russia.
That can improve the situation.
We have to be more quality conscious about the teas we offer abroad, but
at a more competitive price and look at newer ways of selling tea, like
A: Internet is fairly a good media to organize auction however certain particle difficulties may be faced initially such as sampling, registering of sub-buyers (particularly in South) prompt realization etc.
K. M. Angelos, (Senior Manager - Tea Buying & Quality Control), Tata
Kunal Ganguly (Senior Executive) A.W.Figgis & Company (P) Ltd
A: On line, auctions are the best medium of the future, & all of us (Buyers, Brokers & Sellers) should be tuned for that from now.
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