May Tea Report: China Exports & US Imports

Report of China green and black tea exports and US imports for January - May 2020

Data from China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA) and USDA FAS indicate some continued downward trends along with some encouraging upticks.


Exports reached $199 million USD and 35,700 metric tons. China has shown a 14.4% drop in global export volume and a 9% decrease in export value. However, cumulative Jan-May export value for 2020 was about 4.25% higher than the previous year. In fact, average export prices have risen over 10% for the Jan-May period to an average $5.43 per kg. The first place to look for a better understanding of this price increase would be Morocco's patterns of purchasing green tea that meets more stringent pesticide standards.

The chart of export activity indicates that export activity appears to spread more evenly across the first 5 months of the year compared to the previous year


While total imports of Chinese teas into the US have dropped over 22% over the previous May, the drop has not been even across tea types. Black teas saw a 49% decrease while green teas actually increased by nearly 20%. May 2020 saw large percentage gains in small packaged green tea volumes (117%) and flavored green tea by value (114%). The prevalence of green tea coincides with big brands launching more green teas, and Lipton's declining sales of black teas.

Other articles