Current Market Trends for Tea
World tea production reached 3.9 million tonnes in 2010, compared with 3.885 million tonnes in 2009. China was the world's leading tea producer with an output of 1.4 million tonnes in 2010, India second with 966,403 tonnes, Kenya third with 398,500 tonnes and fourth-placed Sri Lanka, with a harvest of 329,300 tonnes. The bulk of world tea consumption is made up of black tea and green tea. Green tea is drunk more in China and Japan, and in North Africa, where it forms the basis of mint tea.

Main trends in Tea Sector in the global market in 2010–2011

In 2010 and 2011 was marked by a strong volatility in prices, which nevertheless continued their upward trend. In 2011, Kenya and Sri Lanka registered a record crop while there were declines in India.

i) New consumption parameters
Most consumers especially are concerned about a number of issues: the use of pesticides on tea plantations, the more general environmental impact of the plantations, food safety, and the wellbeing of growers. The supply chain must remain vigilant and attempt to solve all these problems, to ensure that they do not start to inhibit the increasing popularity of the product.

ii) Health and fashion
Consumers are increasingly looking for good-quality and speciality teas. Health issues play an increasing role in determining consumer choice of food products. Excellent marketing has allowed green tea, largely from Asia, to benefit from this trend.
Fashionable teas are also increasing – for example, iced teas, flavoured teas, white, green and other teas, hot and cold. Producer countries should diversify their product range and develop brands which will increase their market visibility, and support marketing campaigns and the fight against fraudulent imitations.
Tea-producing countries would also profit from expanding into upstream activities, adding value in their own country, and generating additional employment, income and revenue. Efforts by producers to enter activities such as blending have been hampered by poor market information and inadequate marketing strategies, aggravated by a lack of funding. New strategies aimed at adding value and reducing production and marketing costs are also needed.
iii) Emerging markets
A positive sign is that with demand from consumers rising, tea exports are likely to increase as China and India are trying to increase local consumption of tea, their exportable surplus is reducing. The two countries are likely to consume a growing percentage of the world's tea over the coming decades, leaving more space on global markets for other exporters. Kenya's tea exports to China, India, Russia, and United Arab Emirates have increased.
Increasing purchasing power in emerging nations is stimulating their consumption of tea. Dubai through Dubai Tea Trading Centre is pursuing an aggressive strategy, offering up to 60 days' free storage, and is developing its activities in packaging and labelling locally processed tea.
Russia the world's leading importer of tea, is consuming more speciality teas and more expensive teas. Import duty, which currently stands at 0% for raw tea and 15–20% for processed tea, will be revised downwards if Russia joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO), probably at the end of this year. Russia would certainly like to increase domestic output,

iv)The tea-producing countries themselves
The tea-producing countries themselves can be considered developing markets. They currently drink only one-tenth of the quantity consumed by the traditional tea-importing countries, leaving considerable potential for growth. The development of these markets would also bring pressure to bear on the value chain and increase the amount of added value retained by the tea-producing ACP countries.

v) Environment and sustainability
•The market for fair-trade certified tea and ethically sourced tea should grow, and a new market is opening for ethically sourced tea.
•The production of tea from sustainable sources marketed principally under the Fairtrade label generally achieves a higher price than the standard product with fair-trade and organic certification increasingly found side by side.
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