China has designated several of its provinces to become export engines in tea. As a result the traditional exporting provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang are now joined by lesser known but very productive tea regions.
Last week customs officials in Guizhou province in Southwest China announced a huge increase in wholesale exports. During the first half of the year exports increased by 74 times the previous year to $10.43 million.
This is equal to about 10% of total sales value of China’s tea exports.
The growth rate made tea the third-largest exported agricultural product of this year, according to officials quoted in ECNS, an online business publication based in China.
Liquor and flue cured tobacco ranked first and second among Guizhou exports.
Guizhou is the only region in China that enjoys low and high altitude, and low solar radiation and these geographical advantages combine to help the province produce high quality tea, according to ECNS.
Guizhou has long supplied the domestic market. Teas from the region sell for up to RMB2000 ($325 per kg or about $147 per pound) in coastal cities where tea is prized.
Increasingly teas are “deep processed” a term referring to value addition. In some instances this is merely packaging but tea is now finding its way into cosmetics, household goods such as toothpaste and even fabrics woven of tea fiber. Specialty tea is and black tea are growing in popularity.
According to Zhang Zhonghua, the general manager of an agricultural company in Guizhou, without deep processing, Guizhou’s tea growers are forced to sell green tea to coastal regions at 120 yuan ($19.5) to 160 yuan per kilogram.
The ECNA report continues: “Guizhou provincial government announced a three-year plan to upgrade the tea industry in May to support brand building of the sector.”
“Tea industry needs awareness, and information on tea industry should be spread via new media channels,” said Li Jun, deputy secretary of Guizhou province, who attaches importance to increasing awareness about the tea industry.
Brand building is a key objective which is why this information was released.
Source: China News