The Hanoitimes - Japan’s Sasaki Seicha company has surveyed Vietnam’s tea industry for a year and realised that this is a market not to be missed, the firm’s General Director Iwasaki Masao said.
The Cong Thuong (Industry & Trade) Newspaper quoted him as saying that Vietnam used to be the world’s fourth biggest tea producer, but this ranking has dropped recently. Meanwhile, its tea export prices have decreased.
The Japanese firm wants to work with Vietnamese partners to export local tea products abroad, he noted. Sasaki Seicha has been working with the Tea & Food Vietnam JSC to make plans for building tea factories and tea purchasing and farming in some northern provinces.
Vietnam has a tea farming area of 124,000 hectares, producing 500,000 tonnes of dry tea each year. It exported 130,900 tonnes of tea worth 217.2 million USD in 2016, increases of 5.1 percent in volume and 2.1 percent in value from the previous year, according to preliminary data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
A tea farm in Vietnam
Vietnam's tea exports in the past 11 months reached 118,000 tonnes, bringing home 197 million USD, increasing 7.1 percent in volume and 4.3 percent in value compared to the same period last year. Of these, the export volume of Vietnamese tea in November is estimated at 12,000 tonnes with a turnover of 21 million USD, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
However, the tea price for exports in the first ten months decreased nearly 14 percent compared to the same period last year to 1,656 USD per tonne on average. According to the Vietnam Tea Association (Vitas), export value for the whole year is expected at 235 million USD, with 46 percent from green tea and 53 percent from black tea.
Top importers of Vietnamese tea include Afghanistan, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan, Taiwan, the US, mainland China, the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Markets whose tea imports increased include China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The association also predicted that tea export volume would increase by 10 percent next year. However, according to Vitas, to meet the expectation, cooperation between central and local relevant agencies is required, such as planning tea plantation land and processing units with suitable capacity.
The association also suggested tight control for safe tea production, as well as supporting policies for enterprises and farmers in production, investment and material purchase. The Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper quoted Nguyen Thi Anh Hong, Vitas Vice President, as saying that ASEAN is becoming a more important market for the Vietnamese tea sector.
In the last five years, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have always been in the top 10 importers of Vietnamese tea. However, Indonesia imports lower grade tea compared to the two other countries, but with a larger volume. Besides the three countries, Thailand is emerging as an important importer of Vietnamese tea, she said.
The awards helped create prestige for the country’s tea industry in the international market, contributing to building the national trademark for Vietnam’s tea.
Translated by Anh Kiet