CTC teas produced by bought leaf factories (BLF) fetched the highest average price in a Arunachal Pradesh district at Rs 191 a kilo during December 2018, according to Tea Board data. Twa Board, however, did not disclose in which of the 16 Arunachal Pradesh districts the prices was highest. Assam's highest price was more than West Bengal at Rs 155.51 per kilo as against Rs 124 in the Darjeeling plains, the data showed. Highest prices in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were lower as compared to north Indian BLFs, it said.
As per Indian Tea Association (ITA) estimates, the proportion of production by BLFs and small growers were in excess of 50 per cent which it felt would cause disruption in the market. In 2017 (Jan-Dec) small growers and BLFs produced 631 mkgs. almost half of total production of 1,348 mkgs. In November 2018, West Bengal's production was lower at 35.99 mkgs as against 37.08 mkgs in the same period of the previous year. Production during November also declined in south India and Assam.