Tea exports registered a year-on-year increase of 34.3 percent in value in the first two months of this year to 32 million USD, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

During the first two months, exports surged by 27.4 percent to 22,000 tonnes and the price of tea also rose 6.5 percent to 1,465 USD per tonne against the same period of last year, said Nguyen Viet Chien, head of the ministry's Centre of Information and Statistics. In February, exports reached 11,000 tonnes, earning 16 million USD.

The three largest export markets of Vietnamese tea products included Pakistan , Russia and Taiwan , he said.

The Vietnam Tea Association predicted that Vietnam would gain a year-on-year increase of 10 percent in value to 200 million USD for this year while export volume is expected to remain unchanged against last year, said Nguyen Van Thu, deputy chairman of the association.

Export prices for Vietnamese tea products currently stand at 60-70 percent of the world average prices, higher than the rate of 50 percent in previous years, Thu said.

The tea industry has improved the quality of products and ensured food safety and hygiene, he said. The industry has also trained farmers to grow tea using high technology to ensure higher quality products.

Vietnam is the world's fifth leading tea exporter, shipping tea products to 110 nations and territories worldwide. It's "Che Viet" trademark is registered and protected in 70 markets. About 6 million people in Vietnam work in the tea industry./.