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Vietnam's Tea Export in the first ten months of 2015 PDF Print
Friday, 20 November 2015 08:34

VIETRADE - Vietnamese started planting and drinking tea a long time ago. Tea is the traditional beverage, which is not only good for health, but also profoundly reflects the communication culture of among Vietnamese. Tea plant has long life span, and is a quick and perennial crop, results in its high economic efficiency. A tea plant can yield crops for 30-40 years or more. Such famous high quality tea cultivation areas in Vietnam are Tan Cuong (Thai Nguyen), Moc Chau (Son La), Bao Loc (Lam Dong). Local Shan tea varieties provide high yield, high quality and can be processed into such tea products as yellow tea, Pu-erh tea and high valued organic tea. Currently, there are 130,000 acres of tea of all sorts across the country with average crop yield of more than 77 quintals/acre; tea output reaches nearly 824,000 tons of fresh bud.


Tea products have stable demand in varied domestic and foreign markets. Vietnamese tea has been exported to 110 nations and territories with the export value of approximately USD 200 million/year. Despite the down turn of the world economy, tea exports still enjoys positive growth.


A notable feature of Vietnam's tea industry is the protected brand name registered in 70 national and regional markets. Several large consumers of Vietnam's tea exports are Russia, Germany, China, Pakistan...There are more than 160 Vietnam tea export enterprises with different products of which black tea takes up the largest share (78% total export volume), followed by green tea and other tea products.  Tea plants have social value besides the economic value. In Vietnam, tea plants are grown in the midlands and mountainous areas with the participation of more than 400,000 farming households; the average productivity in value is 68 million dong per acre, or even higher at some places ranging from VND 90-100 million per acre. Tea plants therefore help with poverty reduction and income generation for people living in the highlands.


Vietnam tea exports in October 2015 reached 10,784 tons, equivalent to USD18.49 million, a 2% decrease in volume and 1.5% drop in value as compared to September 2015. By the end of October, tea export volume from the beginning of the year was 99,571 tons, equivalent to USD170.32 million, a 8.9% drop in volume and 8.3% drop in value compared to the same period of 2014.


Vietnam's tea export markets in the first ten months enjoyed positive growth with the leading importer was Pakistan, taking up 37.9% export value, equivalent to 28,228 tons and USD 64.57 million, a 2.3% increase in volume and 0.3% increase in value  in comparison with 2014. However, in October, 2015 only, tea exports to Pakistan experienced 3.9% drop in volume and 5.1% in value in comparison with September, 2015, export volume was 3,005 tons, equivalent to USD 6.75 million.


Vietnam's tea exports to Pakistan grow year by year. With the population of nearly 200 million people and tea drinking as a tradition, Pakistan is one of the largest and potential tea consumers in South Asia and Vietnamese tea has been one of top favorites by Pakistanis. OP green tea accounts for the largest share of the total export volume to Pakistan.


Taiwan is the second largest tea exporting market of Vietnam, accounting for 12.5% of the total export value, the export volume in the first 10 months of 2015 was 14,510 tons, equivalent to USD 21.59 million, a 26.8% drop in volume and 19.3% drop in value in comparison with the same period of last year.


Tea exports to several markets experienced growth in the first 10 months of 2015: Russia up 34.57% in volume and 23.45% in value; Ukraine up 42.1% in volume and 38.83% in value; Indonesia up 36.71% in volume and 29.97% in value; UAE had the highest growth of 80.77% in volume and 47.95% in value.

Exports to India and Turkey experienced a huge drop. India dropped 86.87% in volume and 79.26% in value; Turkey dropped 77.74% in volume and 81.86% in value.


Despite the growth in several markets, 90% of Vietnam's tea exports are unprocessed. Though enjoying high export value, the export price of Vietnamese tea accounts for only 50-60 percent of the world's average price. The average export price in the first 9 months was estimated at 1,710-1,720 USD/ton.


Preliminary Statistics on tea exports in the first 10 month of 2015 by the General Department of Custom to the 3 leading markets


10 months/2015

10 months/2014



Volume (ton)

Value (USD)

Volume (ton)

Value (USD)
































At domestic market, the price of tea materials in October 2015 stabilized at last month's level. Particularly, in Thai Nguyen, dried green tea bud was maintained at VND 130,000/kg, high quality tea branch kept its high price of VND200, 000/kg. At Bao Loc, Lam Dong, tea materials for producing green tea stabilized at VND 9, 000/kg, while tea materials for producing black tea stood around VND 4,500/kg.


Lam Dong is one of the leading provinces in tea cultivation areas in terms of tea output and tea products; with 24,000 acres of tea plants, tea output in 2014 was approximately 224,000 tons, equivalent to USD 10-12 million. Thai Nguyen is in the second place  in terms of cultivation areas and output.


As per the development strategy for tea plant by 2015, Thai Nguyen province strived to increase the productivity of fresh tea buds to 120 quintals/acre, or 200,000 ton of fresh tea buds per year; 100% of tea cultivation areas meet the safety standard, in line with the "Practice good agricultural production" by VietGAP.


In order for the tea industry to overcome the obstacles, develop strongly and sustainably, tea growers, scientists, managers and enterprises have to keep contributing to the growth of the tea industry in Vietnam. Enhancing trade promotion, expanding exporting markets, paying more attention to socio-economic infrastructure development in the tea cultivation areas in general and in the construction of new rural areas, contributing to poverty reduction and improve the income of the people and facilitating the tea sector's contribution in restructuring the rural economy in the direction of industrialization and modernization.


According to Vietnam Tea Association (VITAS), by 2020, tea output is expected to reach 250,000 tons (up 43%). Out of this, 182,000 tons will be exported (73% of total output) with following proportion: green tea and specialty tea account for 60,000 tons; OTD black tea accounts for 73,000 tons and CTC tea accounts for 49,000 tons. The average exporting price is expected at USD1.99/kg by 2020. In achieving those targets, VITAS has come up with the following practices: identify new tea varieties with high crop yield, high quality for cultivation. Selecting breeding forms for each type of finished tea: green tea, orthodox tea, CTC...100% of the newly- planted and re-planted areas are provided with high yield and high quality varieties, suitable with the soil of each region. Gradually replace the old variety tea planted area having low productivity with new varieties with high yield and high quality. Innovate new cultivation techniques towards reducing and optimizing the amount of crops to suit different tea variety. Apply the process of sustainable agricultural production and food safety and hygiene standards for tea by Vietnam and the world. Actively develop raw material cultivation areas, without creating raw material conflict among existing tea establishments.


Invested manufactures and machineries must comply with current national technical standards, capable of processing high quality tea products. Expand and build new CTC production lines through investment, so that CTC tea export production reaches 49,000 tons by 2020 (18,000 tons in 2010). Renovate and upgrade existing OTD black tea establishments to meet the standards of export tea production and food safety, improve product quality to meet market requirements. By 2020, tea output for export is expected to reach 73,000 tons (62,000 tons in 2010). The country currently has 136,000 acres of tea, with the average yield of 7 tons / acre, the export volume in 2010 was 130,000 tons, ranking 5th in production and export of tea across the world. Currently, most tea cultivation areas of the country are planted with midland small leaf tea varieties, which have low productivity, low quality, and are degrading. The quality of tea products in Vietnam is low and unstable. The average export price accounts for 60% of the world's average rate. Low labor productivity, fragmented cultivation areas discourage tea growers to invest in the tea cultivation as their income is not secured.

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