Farmers harvest tea in Son La province's Moc Chau district. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam exported 26,000 tonnes of tea in the first quarter of 2019, earning turnover of 45 million USD, up 2.1 percent in volume and 15.4 percent in value year on year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (AgroTrade) has announced.

Pakistan contributed largely to the increase as it captured the lion’s share of Vietnamese tea with 34.5 percent.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs said that last year, Vietnam gained 217.83 million USD from shipping more than 127,000 tonnes of tea overseas, falling 8.9 percent in volume and 4.4 percent in value.

Pakistan was the largest importer when it splashed out 81.63 million USD on buying 38,213 tonnes of Vietnamese tea. It was followed by China’s Taiwan with imports of 18,573 tonnes worth 28.75 million USD and Russia with 13,897 tonnes valued at 21.21 million USD.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), black tea output is forecast to rise 2.2 percent each year in the next decade to reach 4.4 million tonnes by 2027. Meanwhile, green tea yield moves at a faster pace of 7.5 percent annually, and is set to hit 3.6 million tonnes by the year.

Consumption is expected to surge, mostly in China and India.

Experts said that Vietnamese companies should invest heavily in handmade tea and botanical tea, which are preferred by consumers today to raw green and black tea.-VNA