Sri Lanka’s Colombo tea auction goes online amid Coronavirus curfew

ECON0MYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Colombo Tea Traders Association and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce which had conducted a physical auction for over a century said the sale had gone online from April 04 to April 07 as the country remained under tea curfew to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

“This is a historic event, as it is the first time in 126 years that the tea auction deviated from it conventional ‘out-cry’ system, requiring the physical presence of the buyers, to move into the electronic age with buyers recording their bids from remote locations,” the CTTA said.

stakeholders of the industry, at such short notice, and extend our felicitation to all the members of the tea industry for their contribution, through their support and cooperation, to this ground-breaking initiative.

The CTTA which is linked to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, has its origins in 1894.

After Sri Lanka expropriated private plantatios, Sri Lanka Tea Board, a state agency was set up in 1975 as a regulator, and the tea auction came under it. However the CTTA and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce continued to manage it.

The physical auction up to March 18, had been conducted in the premises of the CCC. (Colombo/Apr06/2020)