Tea Exports by Country

Tea leaves photo courtesy of Pixabay

Tea leaves

Global sales from tea exports by country amounted to US$6.5 billion in 2016.

Overall, the value of tea exports were down by an average -9.5% for all exporting countries since 2012 when tea shipments were valued at $7.2 billion. Year over year, global tea exports dipped -10.3% from 2015 to 2016.

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for tea is 0902.

Among continents, Asian countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported tea during 2016 with shipments valued at $4.3 billion or two-thirds (65.5%) of the global total.

In second place were African exporters at 15.1% while 14.9% of worldwide tea shipments originated from Europe. Much smaller percentages of exported tea were sent from North America (2.5%), Latin America excluding Mexico and the Caribbean (1.7%) and Oceania nations including Australia (0.2%).

Tea Exports by Country

Countries

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of tea during 2016:

  1. China: US$1.5 billion (22.8% of total tea exports)
  2. Sri Lanka: $1.3 billion (19.2%)
  3. Kenya: $680.6 million (10.4%)
  4. India: $661.7 million (10.1%)
  5. United Arab Emirates: $287.9 million (4.4%)
  6. Germany: $232.7 million (3.6%)
  7. Poland: $194.4 million (3%)
  8. United Kingdom: $136.5 million (2.1%)
  9. United States: $127.7 million (2%)
  10. Indonesia: $113.1 million (1.7%)
  11. Japan: $108.9 million (1.7%)
  12. Vietnam: $104.1 million (1.6%)
  13. Argentina: $97 million (1.5%)
  14. Netherlands: $85.9 million (1.3%)
  15. Belgium: $83.1 million (1.3%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 86.7% of global tea exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing tea exporters since 2012 were: Japan (up 69.1%), United Arab Emirates (up 61.9%), United States (up 46.9%) and China (up 42.5%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported tea sales were led by: Vietnam (down -53.7%), Kenya (down -43.5%), United Kingdom (down -30%), Indonesia (down -27.8%) and Sri Lanka (down -10.8%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for Tea during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported tea and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. China: US$1.4 billion (net export surplus up 41.4% since 2012)
  2. Sri Lanka: $1.2 billion (down -10.6%)
  3. India: $623.9 million (down -2.4%)
  4. Kenya: $588.4 million (down -50.6%)
  5. United Arab Emirates: $145.5 million (down -133.9%)
  6. Argentina: $95.2 million (down -9.2%)
  7. Poland: $91.2 million (up 23%)
  8. Indonesia: $83.3 million (down -32.6%)
  9. Malawi: $75.7 million (up 3.7%)
  10. Rwanda: $73.1 million (down -15.1%)
  11. Tanzania: $31.4 million (down -43.8%)
  12. Burundi: $14.3 million (down -0.4%)
  13. Zimbabwe: $13.8 million (down -14.5%)
  14. Nepal: $11.6 million (down -42.3%)
  15. Germany: $6.2 million (up 28%)

China has the highest surplus in the international trade of tea. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms China’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.

Opportunities

The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for tea during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported tea purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. Russia: -US$471.9 million (net export deficit down -16.8% since 2012)
  2. United States: -$355.5 million (up 1.6%)
  3. Egypt: -$264.2 million (down -13.7%)
  4. Iran: -$257.3 million (down -10.8%)
  5. Saudi Arabia: -$242 million (up 5.1%)
  6. United Kingdom: -$226.8 million (down -6.5%)
  7. Morocco: -$170.5 million (up 13.7%)
  8. Iraq: -$109 million (up 32.6%)
  9. France: -$105.2 million (down -6.2%)
  10. Canada: -$105 million (down -28.4%)
  11. Kazakhstan: -$102.8 million (down -22.4%)
  12. Australia: -$90.1 million (down -13%)
  13. Ghana: -$83.8 million (up 1,298%)
  14. Italy: -$74.8 million (up 16.9%)
  15. Hong Kong: -$57.2 million (up 29.8%)

Russia incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of Tea. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Russia’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for tea-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.

Companies

Tea Exporting Companies

Below are global tea-processing conglomerates that represent established players engaged in the international tea trade. Their home country is shown within parenthesis.

  • Akbar Tea (Sri Lanka)
  • Bigelow Tea Company (United States)
  • Douwe Egberts aka Pickwick (Netherlands)
  • George Steuart Group (Sri Lanka)
  • Harada Tea Processing (Japan)
  • Lancashire Tea (United Kingdom)
  • Red Rose Tea (United States)
  • Salada Tea (United States)
  • Teekanne (Germany)
  • Ten Fu Group (China)
  • Tetley – Tata Global Beverages (India)
  • Twinings (United Kingdom)


 

Searchable List of Tea Exporting Countries

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the columns.

RankExporter2016 Tea Exports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$1.5 billion22.8%
2.Sri Lanka$1.3 billion19.2%
3.Kenya$680.6 million10.4%
4.India$661.7 million10.1%
5.United Arab Emirates$287.9 million4.4%
6.Germany$232.7 million3.6%
7.Poland$194.4 million3.0%
8.United Kingdom$136.5 million2.1%
9.United States$127.7 million2%
10.Indonesia$113.1 million1.7%
11.Japan$108.9 million1.7%
12.Vietnam$104.1 million1.6%
13.Argentina$97 million1.5%
14.Netherlands$85.9 million1.3%
15.Belgium$83.1 million1.3%
16.Russia$76.3 million1.2%
17.Malawi$75.9 million1.2%
18.Rwanda$73.5 million1.1%
19.Taiwan$63.9 million1%
20.France$56.4 million0.9%
21.Canada$36 million0.6%
22.Tanzania$31.4 million0.5%
23.Morocco$28.9 million0.4%
24.Turkey$28.6 million0.4%
25.Hong Kong$27.4 million0.4%
26.Singapore$26.8 million0.4%
27.Switzerland$24.8 million0.4%
28.South Africa$24.1 million0.4%
29.Jordan$19.3 million0.3%
30.Egypt$18.2 million0.3%
31.Zimbabwe$16.7 million0.3%
32.Saudi Arabia$14.4 million0.2%
33.Burundi$14.3 million0.2%
34.Nepal$12.2 million0.2%
35.Czech Republic$11.2 million0.2%
36.Austria$10.6 million0.2%
37.Malaysia$9.6 million0.1%
38.Kazakhstan$9.5 million0.1%
39.Australia$8.6 million0.1%
40.Spain$8.5 million0.1%
41.Thailand$8 million0.1%
42.Latvia$7.8 million0.1%
43.Pakistan$6.2 million0.1%
44.Denmark$6.2 million0.1%
45.Italy$6 million0.1%
46.South Korea$6 million0.1%
47.Ireland$5.8 million0.1%
48.Sweden$5.8 million0.1%
49.Azerbaijan$5.4 million0.1%
50.Lithuania$5.2 million0.1%
51.Uganda$5 million0.1%
52.Oman$4.7 million0.1%
53.Ethiopia$4.6 million0.1%
54.Iran$4.5 million0.1%
55.Gambia$4.1 million0.1%
56.Mozambique$3.9 million0.1%
57.Chile$3.8 million0.1%
58.Niger$3.6 million0.1%
59.Israel$3.1 million0.05%
60.Brazil$3 million0.05%
61.Bulgaria$2.6 million0.04%
62.Portugal$2.5 million0.04%
63.Myanmar (Burma)$2.2 million0.03%
64.Yemen$2 million0.03%
65.Kuwait$2 million0.03%
66.Romania$1.9 million0.03%
67.Lebanon$1.8 million0.03%
68.Ukraine$1.8 million0.03%
69.Papua New Guinea$1.6 million0.03%
70.Georgia$1.6 million0.02%
71.Luxembourg$1.5 million0.02%
72.Ecuador$1.3 million0.02%
73.Moldova$1.3 million0.02%
74.New Zealand$1.3 million0.02%
75.Colombia$1.3 million0.02%
76.Jamaica$927,0000.01%
77.Bangladesh$913,0000.01%
78.Greece$850,0000.01%
79.Costa Rica$713,0000.01%
80.Serbia$632,0000.01%
81.Senegal$631,0000.01%
82.Norway$537,0000.01%
83.Hungary$526,0000.01%
84.Slovakia$477,0000.01%
85.Mexico$465,0000.01%
86.Croatia$459,0000.01%
87.Belize$458,0000.01%
88.Finland$455,0000.01%
89.Estonia$438,0000.01%
90.Kyrgyzstan$407,0000.01%
91.Djibouti$362,0000.01%
92.Mauritius$335,0000.01%
93.Slovenia$330,0000.01%
94.Belarus$268,0000.004%
95.Laos$264,0000.004%
96.Syria$252,0000.004%
97.Guatemala$241,0000.004%
98.Trinidad/Tobago$235,0000.004%
99.Suriname$192,0000.003%
100.Paraguay$151,0000.002%
101.Madagascar$135,0000.002%
102.Bolivia$132,0000.002%
103.Peru$124,0000.002%
104.Barbados$114,0000.002%
105.Togo$102,0000.002%
106.Fiji$98,0000.002%
107.Armenia$86,0000.001%
108.Macedonia$82,0000.001%
109.Zambia$80,0000.001%
110.Cayman Is.$67,0000.001%
111.Ghana$61,0000.001%
112.Congo$48,0000.001%
113.Nigeria$47,0000.001%
114.Cameroon$45,0000.001%
115.Burkina Faso$45,0000.001%
116.Uzbekistan$42,0000.001%
117.El Salvador$39,0000.001%
118.Mongolia$39,0000.001%
119.Côte d'Ivoire$39,0000.001%
120.Guyana$37,0000.001%
121.Brunei Darussalam$35,0000.001%
122.Mali$31,0000.0005%
123.Montenegro$29,0000.0004%
124.Macao$28,0000.0004%
125.Namibia$24,0000.0004%
126.Honduras$19,0000.0003%
127.Philippines$16,0000.0002%
128.Swaziland$15,0000.0002%
129.Uruguay$13,0000.0002%
130.US Minor Outlying Islands$12,0000.0002%
131.Nicaragua$12,0000.0002%
132.Bosnia/Herzegovina$12,0000.0002%
133.Sudan$11,0000.0002%
134.Botswana$10,0000.0002%
135.Cyprus$7,0000.0001%
136.Saint Lucia$7,0000.0001%
137.Iceland$7,0000.0001%
138.Seychelles$7,0000.0001%
139.Palestine$4,0000.0001%
140.Albania$4,0000.0001%
141.French Polynesia$3,0000.00005%
142.Eritrea$3,0000.00005%
143.Panama$3,0000.00005%
144.Dominica$2,0000.00003%
145.Algeria$2,0000.00003%
146.Bahrain$2,0000.00003%
147.Cambodia$2,0000.00003%
148.Chad$2,0000.00003%
149.Bhutan$1,0000.00002%
150.Angola$1,0000.00002%
151.Gabon$1,0000.00002%
152.Haiti$1,0000.00002%
153.Lesotho$1,0000.00002%
154.Tunisia$1,0000.00002%


See also China’s Top Trading Partners, Tea Imports by Country and Coffee Exports by Country

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 7, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 7, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 7, 2017

Wikipedia, List of tea companies. Accessed on June 7, 2017