ea is one of the rare export agricultural products increasing in both quantity (6.28 percent) and value (up 14.61 percent) over the same period last year.

Average export tea price in Jan-March increased by $93 per tonne against the same period 2009. Since early this year, most of Vietnam's tea export markets posted a year-on-year high growth in export turnover except Pakistan and Taiwan.

Particularly, among Vietnam's tea buyers in Q1, Russia surpassed Pakistan to become the biggest buyer with a growth of 85.99 percent in quantity. Totally in Jan-Mar, Vietnam exported 3,400 tonnes of tea to the Russian market worth more than $7 million, accounting for 13 percent of the country's tea export quantity and then India with an export quantity of 1,100 tonnes in March worth $1.4 million, up 69 percent in value and 33 percent in quantity compared with the first month 2010.

In February, Vietnam's tea exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached only 354 tonnes, worth $704,200, decreasing 17.59 percent in value and 20.81 percent in quantity compared to January 2010. But if comparing the first two months this year with the same period in 2009, Vietnam's tea export to UAE strongly increased in both quantity and value, with 801 tonnes of tea valued at $1.55 million, up over 4.527 percent in value and over 2.706 percent in quantity.

Last year, the country exported 133,000 tonnes of tea, earning an export turnover of $178 million, a year-on-year increase of 27.3 percent in quantity and 21.27 percent in value. Currently, Vietnam's majority tea buyers are Russia, India and Pakistan.

The country's tea sector is planning to expand market to Syria, Jordan and UAE.

Black tea is now accounting for 80 percent of the country's total tea export quantity and Taiwan is the Vietnam's biggest buyer with 17 percent and then Russia, Iraq. Pakistan, Germany and Singapore.

Vietnam is now the fifth biggest tea exporter and producer in the world. In 2010, tea sector is expected to reach $200 million of export turnover.

Thoi Bao Kinh Te Vietnam - April 9, 2010