July Tea Report: China Tea Imports to US

J u l y T e a R e p o r t : C h i n a T e a I m p o r t s t o U S


Data on China’s tea exports included these highlights:

  • Volumes for July were down approximately 4.2% over the same month last year,
  • Volumes are down about 2.1% for the 7 months vs same period in 2019
  • Average export prices for July rose to a high for the year- $7.07 USD per kg
  • Green tea accounted for 84.1% of total tea export volume

Trade data for July 2020 was released by the US Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division, showing US imports of Chinese tea under HS codes 0902:

  • Overall trends for green tea imports are aligned with the previous year’s pattern. Seasonal high and low import months have remained similar
  • Overall imports of black tea led green tea every month in the 2019 period. This trend is no longer in effect

There are a few noteworthy outliers:

  • Green tea imports saw noticeable increases above 2019 levels in May and June, rising by as much as 25%
  • Black tea imports have fallen dramatically to about half their levels in May – July
  • Packaged green teas (3rd highest segment of green imports) remained stable in volumes while rising over 100% in terms of dollar value
  • Green tea subsets: flavored green tea, packaged green tea and organic green teas have been the only categories to consistently outperform their numbers over the previous year

The numbers appear to support increasing preference for Chinese green teas – especially organic and flavored green teas.