Tea exports fall in Q1 due to COVID-19 hinh anh 1Vietnam's tea exports in the first quarter declines by 2.5 percent in volume to 26,000 tonnes. (Photo congthuong.vn)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) –
Vietnam suffered a reduction of tea exports in the first quarter of this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Its tea exports in the first quarter declined by 2.5 percent in volume to 26,000 tonnes and by 19 percent in value to 37 million USD compared to the same period last year. Of which, exports reached 9,000 tonnes of tea in March, earning 12 million USD.

According to the Vietnam Tea Association, the COVID-19 pandemic had greatly impacted many key export markets of Vietnamese tea. Especially, the tea exports to Taiwan, mainland China and Russia mostly stopped.

Meanwhile, partners in other markets asked to reduce prices or delay deadlines to receive tea exports and even cancel contracts. Local enterprises have been not able to sign new export contracts.

The ministry said in the first two months of this year, Pakistan, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia and the US were the five major export markets of Vietnam’s tea products, accounting for 74.5 percent of total national tea export value.

Average export tea price in the first two months reached 1,481 USD per tonne, down 13.5 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

The tea exports to China, one of the largest export markets for Vietnamese tea last year, dropped sharply in the first two months due to restrictions in customs clearance during the COVID-19 pandemic and long Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Tea exports from Vietnam to China in the two months fell by 54.1 percent in volume to 364 tonnes and by 87.4 percent in value to 427,000 USD year on year.

The reduction made China drop to 10th place in Vietnam’s top 10 largest tea export markets from third place in the same period of last year.

The ministry also said in the domestic market, in March, the tea price in Thai Nguyen province, one of the largest tea producers in Vietnam, dropped by 5,000-10,000 VND per kilo to 130,000-220,000 VND.

That price was stable at 9,500 VND per kilo in Lam Dong province, another large tea producer./.