Tea Exports by Country

Tea leaves photo courtesy of Pixabay

Tea leaves

Global sales from tea exports by country amounted to US$7.8 billion in 2017.

Overall, the value of tea exports fell by an average -2.5% for all exporting countries since 2013 when tea shipments were valued at $8 billion. Year over year, global tea exports appreciated 4.6% from 2016 to 2017.

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 2017 with shipments valued at $4.7 billion or three-fifths (60.3%) of the global total.

In second place were African exporters at 22.7% while 13.2% of worldwide tea shipments originated from Europe. Much smaller percentages of exported tea were sent from North America (2.3%), Latin America excluding Mexico and the Caribbean (2.3%) 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 2017:

  1. China: US$1.6 billion (20.6% of total tea exports)
  2. Sri Lanka: $1.5 billion (19.3%)
  3. Kenya: $1.4 billion (18.2%)
  4. India: $591.2 million (7.5%)
  5. United Arab Emirates: $286.8 million (3.7%)
  6. Germany: $245.2 million (3.1%)
  7. Poland: $189 million (2.4%)
  8. United Kingdom: $137.7 million (1.8%)
  9. United States: $136.1 million (1.7%)
  10. Japan: $129.9 million (1.7%)
  11. Vietnam: $123.7 million (1.6%)
  12. Indonesia: $114.2 million (1.5%)
  13. Netherlands: $100.5 million (1.3%)
  14. Argentina: $95.6 million (1.2%)
  15. Russia: $92.3 million (1.2%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 86.7% of global tea exports in 2017 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing tea exporters since 2013 were: Japan (up 86.7%), United States (up 39.9%), China (up 29.3%) and Netherlands (up 22.1%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported tea sales were led by: Vietnam (down -46%), India (down -27.6%), Indonesia (down -27.5%), United Kingdom (down -26.1%) and Argentina (down -18.2%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for tea during 2017. 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. Sri Lanka: US$1.5 billion (net export surplus down -1.6% since 2013)
  2. China: $1.5 billion (up 24.8%)
  3. Kenya: $1.4 billion (up 17.6%)
  4. India: $549.2 million (down -28.9%)
  5. Argentina: $93.5 million (down -19%)
  6. Indonesia: $89.4 million (down -30.3%)
  7. Uganda: $79.4 million (down -7%)
  8. Poland: $75 million (down -27.4%)
  9. Malawi: $71.3 million (down -14.2%)
  10. Rwanda: $48.4 million (down -21.2%)
  11. United Arab Emirates: $48 million (reversing a -$386.3 million)
  12. Tanzania: $40.3 million (down -25.9%)
  13. Nepal: $26.9 million (up 35.3%)
  14. Germany: $19.9 million (up 6.8%)
  15. Zimbabwe: $17.7 million (down -7%)

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 2017. 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$541.4 million (net export deficit up 77.9% since 2013)
  2. Russia: -$432.7 million (down -22.6%)
  3. United States: -$350.7 million (down -7.4%)
  4. Iran: -$273.9 million (down -8.7%)
  5. Egypt: -$266.6 million (down -6.1%)
  6. United Kingdom: -$266.2 million (up 12.5%)
  7. Saudi Arabia: -$248.1 million (up 11.9%)
  8. Morocco: -$192.6 million (up 13.6%)
  9. Iraq: -$143.8 million (up 52.3%)
  10. Kazakhstan: -$113.9 million (down -19.2%)
  11. France: -$107.7 million (down -13.4%)
  12. Canada: -$104.5 million (down -26.7%)
  13. Australia: -$97.5 million (down -6.2%)
  14. Ghana: -$95.2 million (up 1,409%)
  15. Italy: -$74.4 million (up 7.7%)

Pakistan and Russia incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of tea. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights both countries’ 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.

RankExporter2017 Tea Exports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$1.6 billion20.6%
2.Sri Lanka$1.5 billion19.3%
3.Kenya$1.4 billion18.2%
4.India$591.2 million7.5%
5.United Arab Emirates$286.8 million3.7%
6.Germany$245.2 million3.1%
7.Poland$189 million2.4%
8.United Kingdom$137.7 million1.8%
9.United States$136.1 million1.7%
10.Japan$129.9 million1.7%
11.Vietnam$123.7 million1.6%
12.Indonesia$114.2 million1.5%
13.Netherlands$100.5 million1.3%
14.Argentina$95.6 million1.2%
15.Russia$92.3 million1.2%
16.Taiwan$89.8 million1.1%
17.Belgium$86.2 million1.1%
18.Uganda$79.7 million1%
19.Malawi$71.6 million0.9%
20.France$60.7 million0.8%
21.Rwanda$48.6 million0.6%
22.Canada$45.1 million0.6%
23.Tanzania$40.8 million0.5%
24.Hong Kong$38.4 million0.5%
25.South Africa$30.1 million0.4%
26.Nepal$28 million0.4%
27.Switzerland$27.6 million0.4%
28.Morocco$27.2 million0.3%
29.Singapore$26.9 million0.3%
30.Turkey$25 million0.3%
31.Zimbabwe$21 million0.3%
32.Jordan$18.5 million0.2%
33.Saudi Arabia$15.1 million0.2%
34.Burundi$15.1 million0.2%
35.Oman$13.3 million0.2%
36.Thailand$12.9 million0.2%
37.Czech Republic$12.9 million0.2%
38.Spain$12.7 million0.2%
39.Malaysia$10.3 million0.1%
40.Azerbaijan$9.8 million0.1%
41.Iran$9.8 million0.1%
42.Australia$9 million0.1%
43.Kazakhstan$8.9 million0.1%
44.Pakistan$8.2 million0.1%
45.Austria$8.1 million0.1%
46.Egypt$7.2 million0.1%
47.Ireland$7 million0.1%
48.South Korea$6.6 million0.1%
49.Denmark$6.2 million0.1%
50.Yemen$6.2 million0.1%
51.Italy$6.1 million0.1%
52.Sweden$5.5 million0.1%
53.Lithuania$5.3 million0.1%
54.Ukraine$5.1 million0.1%
55.Latvia$4.5 million0.1%
56.Chile$4.5 million0.1%
57.Bangladesh$4.3 million0.1%
58.Jamaica$4.3 million0.1%
59.Kuwait$4.2 million0.1%
60.Ethiopia$3.7 million0.05%
61.Bulgaria$3.5 million0.04%
62.Portugal$2.8 million0.04%
63.Brazil$2.7 million0.03%
64.Mozambique$2.6 million0.03%
65.Afghanistan$2.6 million0.03%
66.Georgia$2.4 million0.03%
67.Luxembourg$2.4 million0.03%
68.Romania$2.3 million0.03%
69.Myanmar$2.2 million0.03%
70.Moldova$1.8 million0.02%
71.Israel$1.8 million0.02%
72.New Zealand$1.8 million0.02%
73.Lebanon$1.6 million0.02%
74.Colombia$1.6 million0.02%
75.Ecuador$1.5 million0.02%
76.Papua New Guinea$1.3 million0.02%
77.Macao$1.1 million0.01%
78.Costa Rica$855,0000.01%
79.Greece$847,0000.01%
80.Kyrgyzstan$780,0000.01%
81.Djibouti$771,0000.01%
82.Slovakia$647,0000.01%
83.Mexico$640,0000.01%
84.Hungary$639,0000.01%
85.Syria$563,0000.01%
86.Slovenia$517,0000.01%
87.Croatia$509,0000.01%
88.Norway$492,0000.01%
89.Finland$461,0000.01%
90.Mauritius$447,0000.01%
91.Serbia$433,0000.01%
92.Estonia$325,0000.004%
93.Ghana$300,0000.004%
94.Libya$293,0000.004%
95.Honduras$287,0000.004%
96.Guatemala$227,0000.003%
97.Dominican Rep$209,0000.003%
98.Iraq$203,0000.003%
99.Laos$187,0000.002%
100.Democ. Rep. Congo$178,0000.002%
101.Gambia$176,0000.002%
102.Nicaragua$162,0000.002%
103.Peru$156,0000.002%
104.El Salvador$147,0000.002%
105.Congo$140,0000.002%
106.Philippines$132,0000.002%
107.Armenia$99,0000.001%
108.Madagascar$92,0000.001%
109.Paraguay$83,0000.001%
110.Macedonia$64,0000.001%
111.Maldives$63,0000.001%
112.Niger$57,0000.001%
113.Uzbekistan$56,0000.001%
114.Bolivia$53,0000.001%
115.Belize$47,0000.001%
116.Sierra Leone$42,0000.001%
117.Zambia$34,0000.0004%
118.Belarus$33,0000.0004%
119.Barbados$33,0000.0004%
120.Brunei Darussalam$29,0000.0004%
121.Senegal$24,0000.0003%
122.Tunisia$22,0000.0003%
123.Togo$20,0000.0003%
124.Nigeria$20,0000.0003%
125.Mongolia$20,0000.0003%
126.Cyprus$16,0000.0002%
127.US Minor Outlying Is$12,0000.0002%
128.Fiji$11,0000.0001%
129.Guyana$10,0000.0001%
130.Haiti$9,0000.0001%
131.Botswana$9,0000.0001%
132.Saint Kitts/Nevis$9,0000.0001%
133.Qatar$7,0000.0001%
134.Côte d'Ivoire$7,0000.0001%
135.Bosnia/Herzegovina$7,0000.0001%
136.Bahamas$7,0000.0001%
137.Cambodia$6,0000.0001%
138.Mali$6,0000.0001%
139.Saint Lucia$6,0000.0001%
140.Dominica$5,0000.0001%
141.Algeria$4,0000.0001%
142.Montenegro$4,0000.0001%
143.Lesotho$3,0000.00004%
144.Iceland$3,0000.00004%
145.Bahrain$2,0000.00003%
146.Cabo Verde$2,0000.00003%
147.Chad$2,0000.00003%
148.Turks/Caicos Is$2,0000.00003%
149.Burkina Faso$1,0000.00001%
150.Uruguay$1,0000.00001%
151.Trinidad/Tobago$1,0000.00001%
152.Tajikistan$1,0000.00001%
153.Sudan$1,0000.00001%
154.Cameroon$1,0000.00001%
155.Grenada$1,0000.00001%
156.North Korea$1,0000.00001%
157.Malta$1,0000.00001%
158.Namibia$1,0000.00001%


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

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 28, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 28, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 28, 2018

Wikipedia, List of tea companies. Accessed on May 28, 2018

Alibaba, Supplier showroom for Tea. Accessed on May 28, 2018