China tea exports fell in 2023

The value of Chinese tea exports fell by 16.3% to $1.74 billion year over year (y/y) in 2023 compared to $2.1 billion in sales recorded in 2022, according to China Customs. The decline is the second consecutive annual drop in exports by value. Export volume also declined by 2% to 367.5 million kilos.


Green tea experienced the biggest drop in value, declining from $1.4 billion in 2022 to $1.2 billion in 2023.


Sri Lanka, the number two producer by value, saw export value increase to $1.31 billion on a lower volume of tea than in 2022. Tea production, overall, increased by 1.7% to 256 million kilos. Sri Lanka maintained an average export price of $5.41 per kilo, up from $5.03 in 2022. Export volume declined by 8.2 million kilos to 242 million kilos in 2023. 


Kenya tea exports from January through November were valued at $1.05 billion and are likely to surpass the 2022 total of $1.4 billion. The 11-month volume was 511 million kilos. The harvest is 50 million kilos ahead of 2022 for the same period.


India and China accounted for 64% of global demand in 2023. A substantial glut of tea remains in Africa, where Kenya and surrounding East African tea-producing countries continue to expand production despite an oversupply of as much as 175,000 metric tons.


European tea suppliers no longer ship to Russia. Prompt payments for tea purchased from India and Sri Lanka are hampered by Western sanctions imposed on Russia and Iran following the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza further destabilized tea markets in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq.



Source: STiR Coffee & Tea (Extracts), Courtesy: Tea Exporters’ Association Sri Lanka

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