Tea exports reached a total value of 194 million USD this year, with a volume of 132,000 tonnes, estimated the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Due to higher world prices, the figures represented a 7.8-percent increase in value but a 1.94-percent decline in volume from the previous year.

Exports to mainland China , the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia doubled in both volume and value in 2010, helping lift the totals for the entire industry, the ministry said.

Vietnamese tea fetched an average export price of 1,450 USD per tonne, according to the deputy director of the Centre for Market Development Research Hoang Dinh Nhu.

Vietnam Tea Association vice chairman Nguyen Van Thu said the price was roughly 70 percent of average global prices, compared to about 50 percent in previous surveys.

The association forecast export value next year will increase by roughly 20 percent to over 200 million USD, even with unchanged export volume.

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./.