Tea Exports by Country

Tea leaves photo courtesy of Pixabay

Tea leaves

Global sales from tea exports by country totaled an estimated US$7.76 billion in 2018.

The value of worldwide tea exports fell by an average -0.5% for all exporting countries since 2014 when tea shipments were valued at $7.8 billion. Year over year, global tea exports depreciated -3.2% from 2017 to 2018.

Among continents, Asian countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported tea during 2018 with shipments valued at $4.7 billion or three-fifths (60.1%) of the global total. In second place were African exporters at 23% while 13.2% of overall tea shipments originated from Europe.

Much smaller percentages of exported tea came from North America (2.1%), Latin America (1.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.2%) led by Australia, Papua New Guinea 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 (23% of total tea exports)
  2. Kenya: $1.4 billion (17.7%)
  3. Sri Lanka: $942.2 million (12.1%)
  4. India: $763.2 million (9.8%)
  5. United Arab Emirates: $295 million (3.8%)
  6. Germany: $252 million (3.2%)
  7. Vietnam: $225.1 million (2.9%)
  8. Poland: $203.1 million (2.6%)
  9. Japan: $142.2 million (1.8%)
  10. United Kingdom: $140.7 million (1.8%)
  11. United States: $124.4 million (1.6%)
  12. Taiwan: $111.9 million (1.4%)
  13. Indonesia: $108.4 million (1.4%)
  14. Russia: $97.9 million (1.3%)
  15. Malawi: $91.6 million (1.2%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 85.7% of global tea exports in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing tea exporters since 2014 were: Taiwan (up 159.7%), Japan (up 89.1%), China (up 40.3%) and Kenya (up 27.9%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported tea sales were led by: Sri Lanka (down -41.5%), Indonesia (down -19.4%), Poland (down -14.3%), United Kingdom (down -8.3%) and United Arab Emirates (down -5.6%).

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: $1.4 billion (up 28.4%)
  3. Sri Lanka: $924.6 million (down -42%)
  4. India: $735.8 million (up 21.3%)
  5. Malawi: $91.3 million (up 18.4%)
  6. Argentina: $88.41 million (down -22%)
  7. Uganda: $88.37 million (up 4.7%)
  8. Poland: $86.6 million (down -29.9%)
  9. Indonesia: $79 million (down -28.3%)
  10. Rwanda: $56.4 million (down -1.7%)
  11. Tanzania: $45 million (up 3.6%)
  12. Vietnam: $42.7 million (down -80.6%)
  13. Taiwan: $32 million (reversing an -$18.3 million deficit)
  14. Germany: $22.2 million (up 50.7%)
  15. Zimbabwe: $21 million (up 32.7%)

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 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: -$362.9 million (up 0.9%)
  4. Egypt: -$311.4 million (down -3.1%)
  5. Afghanistan: -$292.1 million (up 85.8%)
  6. Iran: -$272.5 million (up 23.9%)
  7. United Kingdom: -$255.5 million (up 16.2%)
  8. Saudi Arabia: -$232.8 million (down -0.9%)
  9. Morocco: -$176.2 million (up 6.2%)
  10. France: -$117.7 million (up 10.7%)
  11. Canada: -$104.3 million (down -13.3%)
  12. Kazakhstan: -$100.9 million (down -17.1%)
  13. Australia: -$95.1 million (down -9%)
  14. Hong Kong: -$90.5 million (up 90.6%)
  15. Italy: -$70.7 million (down -3.8%)

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$1,785,365,00023%
2.Kenya$1,370,491,00017.7%
3.Sri Lanka$942,177,00012.1%
4.India$763,192,0009.8%
5.United Arab Emirates$295,037,0003.8%
6.Germany$252,018,0003.2%
7.Vietnam$225,083,0002.9%
8.Poland$203,138,0002.6%
9.Japan$142,235,0001.8%
10.United Kingdom$140,735,0001.8%
11.United States$124,424,0001.6%
12.Taiwan$111,902,0001.4%
13.Indonesia$108,418,0001.4%
14.Russia$97,928,0001.3%
15.Malawi$91,596,0001.2%
16.Argentina$90,511,0001.2%
17.Uganda$88,831,0001.1%
18.Belgium$76,691,0001%
19.Netherlands$63,130,0000.8%
20.France$63,117,0000.8%
21.Hong Kong$61,375,0000.8%
22.Rwanda$56,581,0000.7%
23.Tanzania$45,486,0000.6%
24.Morocco$44,477,0000.6%
25.Canada$41,335,0000.5%
26.South Africa$30,960,0000.4%
27.Switzerland$30,181,0000.4%
28.Singapore$27,734,0000.4%
29.Zimbabwe$23,695,0000.3%
30.Pakistan$23,056,0000.3%
31.Malaysia$23,010,0000.3%
32.Jordan$22,575,0000.3%
33.Iran$19,848,0000.3%
34.Saudi Arabia$19,673,0000.3%
35.Burundi$16,441,0000.2%
36.Spain$15,243,0000.2%
37.Thailand$14,724,0000.2%
38.Turkey$13,090,0000.2%
39.Kazakhstan$11,773,0000.2%
40.Austria$10,229,0000.1%
41.Azerbaijan$9,374,0000.1%
42.Denmark$9,164,0000.1%
43.Yemen$8,951,0000.1%
44.Czech Republic$8,515,0000.1%
45.Australia$8,330,0000.1%
46.Italy$7,248,0000.1%
47.Egypt$6,735,0000.1%
48.Ireland$6,675,0000.1%
49.Sweden$6,540,0000.1%
50.South Korea$5,878,0000.1%
51.Ukraine$4,958,0000.1%
52.Lithuania$4,742,0000.1%
53.Bulgaria$4,469,0000.1%
54.Chile$4,450,0000.1%
55.Latvia$4,023,0000.1%
56.Kuwait$3,868,0000.05%
57.Lebanon$3,666,0000.05%
58.Portugal$3,597,0000.05%
59.Georgia$3,583,0000.05%
60.Nepal$3,408,0000.04%
61.Bangladesh$3,045,0000.04%
62.Myanmar (Burma)$2,896,0000.04%
63.Romania$2,683,0000.03%
64.Senegal$2,534,0000.03%
65.Israel$2,460,0000.03%
66.Moldova$2,038,0000.03%
67.Brazil$1,992,0000.03%
68.Colombia$1,778,0000.02%
69.Oman$1,753,0000.02%
70.Ethiopia$1,689,0000.02%
71.Papua New Guinea$1,626,0000.02%
72.Greece$1,548,0000.02%
73.Ecuador$1,440,0000.02%
74.New Zealand$1,271,0000.02%
75.Macao$1,243,0000.02%
76.Jamaica$1,230,0000.02%
77.Costa Rica$870,0000.01%
78.Kyrgyzstan$869,0000.01%
79.Luxembourg$788,0000.01%
80.Mexico$771,0000.01%
81.Djibouti$768,0000.01%
82.Sierra Leone$696,0000.01%
83.Hungary$651,0000.01%
84.Serbia$640,0000.01%
85.Slovakia$602,0000.01%
86.Belarus$585,0000.01%
87.Slovenia$544,0000.01%
88.Croatia$517,0000.01%
89.Fiji$479,0000.01%
90.Syria$435,0000.01%
91.Estonia$427,0000.01%
92.Finland$383,0000.005%
93.Nigeria$327,0000.004%
94.Mauritius$316,0000.004%
95.Qatar$250,0000.003%
96.Mali$231,0000.003%
97.Angola$217,0000.003%
98.Mozambique$215,0000.003%
99.Norway$156,0000.002%
100.Peru$148,0000.002%
101.Bolivia$143,0000.002%
102.Afghanistan$142,0000.002%
103.Bahrain$138,0000.002%
104.Democr. Rep. Congo$118,0000.002%
105.Congo$116,0000.001%
106.Ivory Coast$104,0000.001%
107.Laos$104,0000.001%
108.Armenia$87,0000.001%
109.Mongolia$73,0000.001%
110.Honduras$68,0000.001%
111.Madagascar$66,0000.001%
112.Trinidad/Tobago$53,0000.001%
113.Vanuatu$49,0000.001%
114.Ghana$48,0000.001%
115.North Macedonia$46,0000.001%
116.Barbados$39,0000.001%
117.Philippines$37,0000.0005%
118.Guatemala$31,0000.0004%
119.US Minor Outlying Is.$23,0000.0003%
120.Cyprus$22,0000.0003%
121.Cameroon$22,0000.0003%
122.El Salvador$20,0000.0003%
123.Brunei Darussalam$16,0000.0002%
124.Zambia$16,0000.0002%
125.Uzbekistan$16,0000.0002%
126.Aruba$14,0000.0002%
127.Montenegro$14,0000.0002%
128.Iceland$11,0000.0001%
129.Turkmenistan$11,0000.0001%
130.Niger$10,0000.0001%
131.Namibia$9,0000.0001%
132.Bosnia/Herzegovina$9,0000.0001%
133.Guinea$8,0000.0001%
134.Botswana$7,0000.0001%
135.Tunisia$5,0000.0001%
136.Uruguay$5,0000.0001%
137.Somalia$5,0000.0001%
138.Algeria$4,0000.0001%
139.Cambodia$4,0000.0001%
140.Palestine$4,0000.0001%
141.Benin$4,0000.0001%
142.Saint Kitts/Nevis$4,0000.0001%
143.Paraguay$4,0000.0001%
144.Lesotho$3,0000.00004%
145.Comoros$3,0000.00004%
146.Cook Islands$2,0000.00003%
147.Guyana$2,0000.00003%
148.Gambia$2,0000.00003%
149.Nicaragua$2,0000.00003%
150.Samoa$2,0000.00003%
151.Tajikistan$1,0000.00001%
152.Sudan$1,0000.00001%
153.Burkina Faso$1,0000.00001%
154.Togo$1,0000.00001%
155.Turks/Caicos Islands$1,0000.00001%
156.Panama$1,0000.00001%
157.Malta$1,0000.00001%
158.Grenada$1,0000.00001%
159.Dominican Republic$1,0000.00001%
160.Cayman Islands$1,0000.00001%
161.Belize$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 July 27, 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