Indian firms plan tea auction in Dubai

Monday, 29 March 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: Indian tea firms are considering selling through auction markets in Dubai.

Tea growers have received an invitation from the Dubai Tea Trading Centre to sell through them, but Indian firms want a trading platform of their own in the United Arab Emirates.

Tea majors are planning to petition the Tea Board, the regulatory body, to set up an auction centre in Dubai.

India's Tea Act, 1953, calls for the regulatory body to set up an auction centre, either alone or in partnership, to be able to sell through a foreign market.

Tea growers now sell mostly through auction markets in Kolkata, Guwahati, Siliguri and Coimbatore.

If the Dubai proposal comes through, it would be Indian tea's first overseas auction market.

Indian Tea Association (ITA), the forum of growers, would soon approach the Tea Board on the Dubai market plan.

"If we can have an auction centre of our own in Dubai, it would be good for the industry," ITA chairman C.K. Dhanuka said.

The industry hopes to get a better price for its tea and also contact buyers from the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region.

India sold about 42 million kg in the WANA region in 2003. The industry also hopes to increase its sales in the Dubai market, which bought 25 million kg in 2003.

The export of Indian tea now stands at 160 million kg.

Source: IANS
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