ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tea exports to China surged 30% to 9.9 million kilos in 2017 from the year before, making it the eighth biggest market for Ceylon tea, the Tea Board said.
Minister of Plantation Industries Naveen Dissanayake said the fast growth of the Chinese market shows it has a lot of potential.
“I visited China twice to promote Ceylon tea,” he told a news conference. “We can export more to China.”
Sri Lanka’s share of China overall tea market was 3.4% but it now has a 25% share of the market for black tea, Dissanayake said.
Tea Board statistics show Ceylon tea exports to China have been rising strongly since 2012 when three million kilos were shipped.
Tea exports to China have risen 230% in the past five years, with the growth in 2016 being the fourth highest among the island’s major markets.
“However, almost 95% of exports to China is in bulk form and our challenge would be to increase the percentage of value added teas,” a Tea Board statement said.
“Most exports are in bulk because Chinese buyers are packing within China,” Tea Board Chairman Rohan Pethiyagoda told Economynext.com.
“It takes time for our brands to get into the Chinese market. We need to see more Ceylon tea shops opened in China by our private sector.”
(COLOMBO, January 25, 2018)