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Sri Lanka tea gaining market share in China

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan tea is increasing market share in China whose imports of the beverage are growing despite being the world’s largest producer, the Sri Lanka Tea Board said.

China is the world’s largest consumer of tea and also the second biggest exporter of tea after Kenya.

Sri Lanka, which exported only just over one million kilos to China in 2010, supplied 8 million kilos of Ceylon tea in 2016, according to a Tea Board statement.

“Sri Lanka is the leader in the Chinese tea market in respect of the imported tea segment effectively relegating Vietnam and India to the second and third positions,” it said.

Sri Lanka’s share in China’s tea imports had grown to 38% by end of 2016, up from 26% in 2015, the Tea Board said.

China is also identified as the country with the fastest growth for Ready to Drink (RTD) teas although USA and Japan are considered the two largest global customers in this category, the statement said.

From a traditional green tea consuming society for centuries, China’s elite, burgeoning new middle class and younger generation are moving gradually towards new types of tea and innovative products, including imported black tea.

“Sri Lanka is ideally placed to take advantage of this new trend as the globally reputed supplier of quality orthodox black tea,” according to the statement quoted by Asia Siyaka Commodities in its weekly tea market report.

During 2010 to 2016, while China’s tea exports had grown 1.4%, foreign tea imports into China had grown 14.3%, indicating that China is bound to import a larger volume of black tea.
(COLOMBO, May 12, 2017)





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