On labour woes and intermittent lockdowns which have production for tea companies, tea prices have been raised in a staggered manner, with the first hike in April-May and then in June-July beginnings.
Companies such as HUL, Tata Consumer and Wagh Bakri have raised prices by 10-15%.
Tea gardens open in mid-March and that was when the lockdown was announced. Further, we saw incessant rain in June, which has affected the quality of the crop," said a tea trader. And the hike comes amid operational and production issues being faced by these companies.
Because of some of these factors, weekly auction prices have been raised to a record of Rs 232.60 per kg, up 57 percent from a year ago.
So, with no room left, companies have passed on the hike to consumers across brands as well as stock keeping units or SKUs.
HUL said that it does "selective and judicious price changes across its portfolio in the normal course of its business."
Similarly, Wagh Bakri has raised prices by 5% across brands and Tata Consumer raised prices by Rs. 20-40 per kg.
"If things don't stabilise, it is likely that we may have to take another 10% price hike over the next month," said a tea manufacturer who did not wish to be named.