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Tea exports to Taiwan: The proportion is overwhelming, and the value is not commensurate

14:45 | 16/05/2022

VCN - After many years of holding a dominant position in exporting tea to Taiwan (China), the proportion of Vietnamese tea in this market tends to decrease significantly.

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Tea exports to Taiwan: The proportion is overwhelming, and the value is not commensurate
The proportion of Vietnamese tea in the Taiwan market is on a downward trend. Photo: Internet

Therefore, quality assurances, as well as product diversification, are urgent requirements to consolidate and improve the export value of Vietnamese tea in Taiwan.

Taiwan imports over 50% of tea from Vietnam

According to Ms. Nguyen Thu Thuy, Deputy Director of the Export Support Center, Trade Promotion Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), and Vietnam has a lot of advantages in tea production with over 170 varieties of high quality tea with high yield and special flavors that are popular around the world.

Vietnamese tea products have been exported to more than 70 countries and territories. In which, Pakistan, Taiwan, Russia, Indonesia, China are the five key markets for Vietnamese tea.

In 2021, Vietnam's tea exports to Taiwan reached 18,586 tons, equivalent to US$28.72 million, up 7.5% in both volume and value. The data of the General Department of Customs shows that, in the first quarter of 2022, the whole country exported 22,946 tons of tea of ​​all kinds, equivalent to US$36.7 million, down 11.9% in volume, down 11.3% in value year on year. Taiwan is the second-largest export market of Vietnamese tea, accounting for 13% of the total volume and 12% of the total tea export value of the country, reaching 2,989 tons, equivalent to US$4.39 million, the average price was US$1,467/ton, down 7.8% in volume, 11.3% in value and down 3.9% in price over the same period last year.

Mr. Vu Van Cuong, Chief Representative of Trade Department, Vietnam Economic-Cultural Office in Taipei (China), said that Vietnam is the main tea supplying market for Taiwan. Currently, the main competitors of Vietnam's tea products in this market are Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and China with proportions of 15%, 10%, 6% and 1.5%, respectively.

Mr. Vu Van Cuong said the position of Vietnam tea in the Taiwanese market resulted from Taiwan’s New Southern policies. Since 1993, Taiwan - Vietnam officially set up a representative Economic - Cultural Office on each side, and Taiwan's investment in Vietnam is quite large.

One of the strong investments in agriculture is the Taiwanese businessman who brought tea varieties such as oolong tea, etc. to grow in Vietnam.

“For the Chinese market alone, the Chief Representative of the Trade Department, Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said that although mainland China is the world's largest tea export market, Taiwan imports very little from this market. This is an opportunity for Vietnamese tea to dominate the Taiwanese market for many years."

Meet the requirements for residues of pesticides

From 2014-2015, the proportion of Vietnamese tea accounted for nearly 70% of Taiwan's total tea imports. However, Mr. Vu Van Cuong said in the last three years, the proportion of Vietnamese tea in this market has decreased to only 56%.

Analyzing the reason for this decrease, Mr. Vu Van Cuong stated that in 2015, Taiwan revised the Law on Food Safety and Hygiene, in which the standards of tea were raised which greatly reduces the amount of tea Vietnam exports to Taiwan because many Vietnamese enterprises have not met the standards of residue threshold of pesticides.

Mr. CHOU Tsung-Piao, General Director of Queyue Tea Company (Taiwan), said that according to a survey, Taiwanese consumers are interested in packaging, production information, production process and consumption. In particular, consumers pay great attention to pesticide residues. 66.4% of the respondents answered that they would buy tea through introducing friends and relatives; 75% will buy tea if there is a clear manufacturer and seller.

Affirming compulsory tests of residues of pesticides with tea products, Mr. CHOU Tsung-Piao recommended advertising and promoting high-quality tea, verifying the origin and tea quality is an important issue that businesses need to pay attention to.

Given good quality products, the space for Vietnamese tea in the Taiwan market is huge, Mr. Cuong said the need to diversify export products into this market.

Although Vietnam is the main tea supplier to Taiwan with a relatively large export volume, the value obtained is not commensurate. According to the Taiwan Tea Processing Association, in 2021, Vietnamese tea was exported to Taiwan in a very large volume of more than 3kg, with almost no small packaging.

“Vietnamese tea ingredients are very assured. Vietnamese tea imported into Taiwan is mainly used in food processing using tea ingredients such as milk tea, matcha (green tea) powder (ground tea). Therefore, Vietnamese tea imported into Taiwan is often packed in large bags of over 3kg/bag. Meanwhile, tea from many other countries such as Japan, Sri Lanka imported into Taiwan is mainly packed in small bags, canned, and sold at specialized tea shops for daily consumption or gift purposes," Mr. Vu Van Cuong said.

Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises need to make a breakthrough and diversify tea products. In addition to the current and traditional types, businesses should consider investing in the production of other types such as tea bags and teacups.

Uyen Như/ Thu Phuong