Tea Exports by Country

Tea leaves photo courtesy of Pixabay

Tea leaves

Global sales from tea exports by country totaled an estimated US$7 billion in 2018.

Overall, the value of tea exports fell by an average -10.9% for all exporting countries since 2014 when tea shipments were valued at $7.8 billion. Year over year, global tea exports depreciated -13.6% from 2017 to 2018.

Among continents, Asian countries generated the highest dollar worth of exported tea during 2018 with shipments valued at $4.1 billion or close to three-fifths (58.8%) of the global total. In second place were African exporters at 21.9% while 15.1% of worldwide tea shipments originated from Europe.

Much smaller percentages of exported tea came from North America (2.4%), Latin America (1.5%) excluding Mexico and the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.2%) led by Australia and New Zealand.

For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for tea is 0902.

Tea Exports by Country

Countries

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of tea during 2018.

  1. China: US$1.8 billion (25.7% of total tea exports)
  2. Kenya: $1.1 billion (16.2%)
  3. India: $763.2 million (11%)
  4. Sri Lanka: $721.6 million (10.4%)
  5. Germany: $252 million (3.6%)
  6. Poland: $202.3 million (2.9%)
  7. Japan: $142.2 million (2%)
  8. United Kingdom: $140.7 million (2%)
  9. United States: $124 million (1.8%)
  10. Vietnam: $116.8 million (1.7%)
  11. Taiwan: $111.9 million (1.6%)
  12. Indonesia: $108.4 million (1.6%)
  13. Russia: $97.9 million (1.4%)
  14. Argentina: $94 million (1.4%)
  15. Netherlands: $93.5 million (1.3%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 84.5% of global tea exports in 2018 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing tea exporters since 2014 were: Taiwan (up 159.7%), Japan (up 89.1%), China (up 40.3%) then India (up 16.3%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported tea sales were led by: Sri Lanka (down -55.2%), Vietnam (down -48.7%), Indonesia (down -19.4%), Argentina (down -18.3%) and Poland (down -14.2%).

For the complete listing, see the section Searchable List of Tea Exporting Countries below.

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for tea during 2018. 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$1.6 billion (net export surplus up 36.2% since 2014)
  2. Kenya: $1 billion (down -3.1%)
  3. India: $735.8 million (up 21.3%)
  4. Sri Lanka: $706.2 million (down -55.7%)
  5. Argentina: $92.3 million (down -18.6%)
  6. Uganda: $88.4 million (up 4.7%)
  7. Malawi: $87 million (up 12.8%)
  8. Poland: $86.2 million (down -28.4%)
  9. Indonesia: $79 million (down -28.3%)
  10. Rwanda: $52.2 million (down -9%)
  11. Tanzania: $45 million (up 3.6%)
  12. Taiwan: $32 million (reversing a -$18.3 million deficit)
  13. Germany: $22.2 million (up 50.7%)
  14. Zimbabwe: $21 million (up 32.7%)
  15. Burundi: $16 million (up 18.5%)

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 2018. 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. Pakistan: US-$548.3 million (net export deficit up 73.2% since 2014)
  2. Russia: -$399.1 million (down -28.8%)
  3. United States: -$364 million (up 1.2%)
  4. Egypt: -$311.4 million (down -3.1%)
  5. United Kingdom: -$255.5 million (up 16.2%)
  6. Morocco: -$176.2 million (up 6.2%)
  7. France: -$117.7 million (up 10.7%)
  8. Iran: -$107.9 million (down -50.9%)
  9. Canada: -$104.4 million (down -13.2%)
  10. Kazakhstan: -$100.9 million (down -17.1%)
  11. Australia: -$95.1 million (down -9%)
  12. Hong Kong: -$90.5 million (up 90.6%)
  13. Senegal: -$77.9 million (up 1919.7%)
  14. Italy: -$70.8 million (down -3.7%)
  15. Vietnam: -$64.1 million (reversing a $219.8 million surplus)

Pakistan incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of tea. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights the country’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 in 2018

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

RankExporterTea Exports (US$)%World Total
1.China$1.8 billion25.7%
2.Kenya$1.1 billion16.2%
3.India$763.2 million11%
4.Sri Lanka$721.6 million10.4%
5.Germany$252 million3.6%
6.Poland$202.3 million2.9%
7.Japan$142.2 million2%
8.United Kingdom$140.7 million2%
9.United States$124 million1.8%
10.Vietnam$116.8 million1.7%
11.Taiwan$111.9 million1.6%
12.Indonesia$108.4 million1.6%
13.Russia$97.9 million1.4%
14.Argentina$94 million1.4%
15.Netherlands$93.5 million1.3%
16.United Arab Emirates$91.5 million1.3%
17.Uganda$88.8 million1.3%
18.Malawi$87.3 million1.3%
19.Belgium$76.7 million1.1%
20.France$63.1 million0.9%
21.Hong Kong$61.4 million0.9%
22.Rwanda$52.4 million0.8%
23.Tanzania$45.5 million0.7%
24.Morocco$44.5 million0.6%
25.Canada$41.3 million0.6%
26.South Africa$31 million0.4%
27.Switzerland$30.2 million0.4%
28.Singapore$27.7 million0.4%
29.Zimbabwe$23.7 million0.3%
30.Pakistan$23.1 million0.3%
31.Malaysia$23 million0.3%
32.Jordan$22.6 million0.3%
33.Burundi$16 million0.2%
34.Spain$15.2 million0.2%
35.Thailand$14.7 million0.2%
36.Turkey$13.1 million0.2%
37.Iran$13.1 million0.2%
38.Kazakhstan$11.8 million0.2%
39.Austria$10.2 million0.1%
40.Denmark$8.9 million0.1%
41.Azerbaijan$8.7 million0.1%
42.Australia$8.3 million0.1%
43.Saudi Arabia$8.3 million0.1%
44.Czech Republic$8.1 million0.1%
45.Italy$7.3 million0.1%
46.Egypt$6.7 million0.1%
47.Ireland$6.7 million0.1%
48.Sweden$6.5 million0.1%
49.South Korea$5.9 million0.1%
50.Ukraine$5 million0.1%
51.Lithuania$4.7 million0.1%
52.Bulgaria$4.5 million0.1%
53.Chile$4.5 million0.1%
54.Latvia$4 million0.1%
55.Lebanon$3.7 million0.1%
56.Nepal$3.7 million0.1%
57.Portugal$3.6 million0.1%
58.Georgia$3.6 million0.1%
59.Romania$2.7 million0.04%
60.Israel$2.5 million0.04%
61.Myanmar (Burma)$2.4 million0.03%
62.Moldova$2 million0.03%
63.Brazil$2 million0.03%
64.Bangladesh$1.9 million0.03%
65.Colombia$1.8 million0.03%
66.Greece$1.5 million0.02%
67.Ecuador$1.4 million0.02%
68.Ethiopia$1.3 million0.02%
69.New Zealand$1.3 million0.02%
70.Macao$1.2 million0.02%
71.Papua New Guinea$1.2 million0.02%
72.Jamaica$1.1 million0.02%
73.Costa Rica$870,0000.01%
74.Kyrgyzstan$869,0000.01%
75.Luxembourg$778,0000.01%
76.Mexico$771,0000.01%
77.Djibouti$768,0000.01%
78.Sierra Leone$691,0000.01%
79.Hungary$646,0000.01%
80.Serbia$640,0000.01%
81.Croatia$627,0000.01%
82.Slovakia$602,0000.01%
83.Belarus$585,0000.01%
84.Slovenia$544,0000.01%
85.Fiji$480,0000.01%
86.Syrian Arab Republic$436,0000.01%
87.Estonia$427,0000.01%
88.Finland$383,0000.01%
89.Nigeria$327,0000.005%
90.Mauritius$316,0000.005%
91.Qatar$250,0000.004%
92.Mali$231,0000.003%
93.Mozambique$215,0000.003%
94.Maldives$179,0000.003%
95.Nicaragua$175,0000.003%
96.Norway$156,0000.002%
97.Peru$148,0000.002%
98.Bolivia$143,0000.002%
99.Yemen$127,0000.002%
100.Congo$116,0000.002%
101.Ivory Coast$104,0000.001%
102.Laos$104,0000.001%
103.Armenia$87,0000.001%
104.Democr. Rep. Congo$70,0000.001%
105.Madagascar$66,0000.001%
106.Senegal$62,0000.001%
107.Ghana$48,0000.001%
108.North Macedonia$46,0000.001%
109.Albania$41,0000.001%
110.Barbados$39,0000.001%
111.Philippines$37,0000.001%
112.St Vincent/Grenadines$29,0000.0004%
113.Cyprus$25,0000.0004%
114.Mongolia$23,0000.0003%
115.El Salvador$20,0000.0003%
116.US Minor Outlying Is$18,0000.0003%
117.Uzbekistan$16,0000.0002%
118.Zambia$16,0000.0002%
119.Cameroon$15,0000.0002%
120.Trinidad/Tobago$14,0000.0002%
121.Turkmenistan$11,0000.0002%
122.Angola$11,0000.0002%
123.Iceland$11,0000.0002%
124.Niger$10,0000.0001%
125.Bosnia/Herzegovina$9,0000.0001%
126.Guatemala$9,0000.0001%
127.Guinea$8,0000.0001%
128.Namibia$5,0000.0001%
129.Tunisia$5,0000.0001%
130.Somalia$5,0000.0001%
131.Uruguay$5,0000.0001%
132.St Kitts/Nevis$4,0000.0001%
133.Paraguay$4,0000.0001%
134.Kuwait$4,0000.0001%
135.Palestine$4,0000.0001%
136.Benin$4,0000.0001%
137.Algeria$4,0000.0001%
138.Afghanistan$3,0000.00004%
139.Comoros$3,0000.00004%
140.Cambodia$3,0000.00004%
141.Honduras$3,0000.00004%
142.Lesotho$3,0000.00004%
143.Montenegro$3,0000.00004%
144.Guyana$2,0000.00003%
145.Gambia$2,0000.00003%
146.Cook Islands$2,0000.00003%
147.Dominican Republic$1,0000.00001%
148.Grenada$1,0000.00001%
149.Belize$1,0000.00001%
150.Cayman Islands$1,0000.00001%
151.Botswana$1,0000.00001%
152.Vanuatu$1,0000.00001%
153.Malta$1,0000.00001%
154.Tajikistan$1,0000.00001%
155.Togo$1,0000.00001%
156.Sudan$1,0000.00001%
157.Suriname$1,0000.00001%
158.Turks/Caicos Islands$1,0000.00001%
159.Burkina Faso$1,0000.00001%


See also Tea Imports by Country, Hot Chocolate Exports by Country, Coffee Exports by Country and Coffee Imports by Country

Research Sources:
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for Tea. Accessed on April 17, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 17, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 17, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 17, 2019