Kolkata–The Tea Board of India on Thursday said under the successful roll-out of pan India e-auction, about 59 per cent of tea offered was sold.

The board said that across six auction centres, a total of about 29.5 lakh kilo of tea was offered and of which, about 17.3 lakh kilo was sold. A total 5,179 lots were offered of which 3,391 were sold. The average price realisation was at Rs 135.75 a kilo.

Tea-cup-s“The pan India e-auction has been rolled out successfully by Tea Board in all the auction centres except Coimbatore on Thursday. In Coimbatore it will be rolled out on June 24,” the board said in a statement.

The pan India e-auction enables buyers registered with a single auction centre to participate in the auction process of other centres as well.

Before this, the existing electronic auction process was region and centre specific, with restrictive participation as only those buyers registered at a centre could participate in its auction process.

The regular registered buyers of the auction centres and the non-registered outstation buyers participated in all the auction centres in good number, the board said.

The objective for introducing the new system was to bring competition in the system by bringing more buyers and to prevent cartelisation. The system is also expected to improve price discovery.

There are seven auction centres in India – Kolkata, Guwahati, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Kochi, Coonoor and Coimbatore. Manual auction of tea in India started in 1861 and the region and centre specific electronic auctions commenced in 2009.

Darjeeling tea is coming to the electronic platform for the first time. The average price of Darjeeling tea auctioned on Thursday was Rs 404.33 per kg.

The new system was planned to start from Tuesday but the board deferred to Thursday due to “some post settlement issues”. As per the new module the e-auction process though kicked off on Thursday in all centres with the sale number 25 but the post settlement banking operation would be done as per the existing process until the board sorts it out.

The board in a statement earlier said the post settlement portion of the auction would be implemented shortly after carrying out certain modifications in the system as per the feedback received from stakeholders.

Pan India e-auction was launched on May 9.