Birtamod, Jan. 29 -- Tea manufacturers in Nepal's tea-growing heartland in the east have filled their warehouses with their products because selling at the prevailing price will not allow them to break even, they said.

The price of CTC (crush, tear, curl) tea has been in continuous free fall in the Indian market where most of the Nepali production is shipped. Over the year, the price of CTC tea has plunged by 50 percent to IRs65 per kg.

Entrepreneurs said they are not even able to get their investment back by selling at that rate, so they would rather hold their stocks.

There is no auction system to sell tea leaves in Nepal, and the price is determined by Indian traders who are the largest buyers.

Around 70,000 kg of CTC tea is stored...