Global Tea Production Overview 2022-2032

Bulk Black Tea
Sri Lanka
Published Mar 1, 2024
Global tea production has grown steadily at an annual rate of 3.2% over the past decade, reaching 6.7 mmt in 2022. China played a significant role in this growth, contributing 5.9% to annual expansion, making it the leading global tea producer, followed by India, with a 20.5% share and a 1.8% increase in output in 2022. Major exporting nations, Kenya and Sri Lanka, faced challenges, with Sri Lanka experiencing a substantial 15.6% YoY decline in 2022 due to fertilizer bans. Despite this, global tea production increased by 1.6% YoY in 2022, compensating for a drop in black tea with higher green tea production. Preliminary estimates suggest a marginal rise in global tea production in 2023, and looking ahead, the outlook for production until 2032 indicates a forecasted growth.

According to the FAO-IGG, the forecast for the next decade anticipates a slightly reduced annual growth rate of 1.6% for global black tea production, reaching 4.42 mmt by 2032. In contrast, global green tea output is forecasted to increase at a faster rate of 6.3% annually, reaching 4.25 mmt in 2032.

Decade-Long Rise in Global Tea Production from 2012-2022

Over the past decade (2012-2022), global tea production witnessed a consistent annual growth of 3.2%, reaching 6.7 million metric tons (mmt) in 2022. Global tea production experienced a 1.6% year-on-year (YoY) increase in 2022, with higher green tea production compensating for a decline in black tea output. Preliminary estimates suggested a marginal rise in global tea production for 2023, as Sri Lanka's black tea production showed signs of recovery from the previous year's shortfall. Over the last decade, black tea production globally increased by 2.1% annually, while green tea experienced a higher growth rate of 4.9%, driven by firm prices and the perceived health benefits associated with tea consumption.

This sustained growth is predominantly attributed to China, where production increased by 5.9% annually, reaching 3.34 mmt in 2022, driven by rising domestic demand and heightened consumer health awareness. China stands as the leading global producer, contributing nearly 50% of the world's tea output, followed by India with a 20.5% share. Despite facing challenges such as adverse weather conditions and subdued international and domestic demand, India experienced a modest 1.8% increase in output to 1.37 mmt in 2022. Kenya and Sri Lanka, two major exporting nations, produced 542.56 thousand metric tons (mt) and 255.97 thousand mt, respectively. However, Sri Lanka encountered a 15.6% YoY decline, the most substantial since 1995, due to fertilizer bans in 2021 which impacted yields.

Figure 1. Global Tea Production in 2022

Source: FAO

Sustained but Subdued Growth Expected in Global Tea Production from 2022-2032

In the forthcoming decade, global black tea production is forecasted to grow at a slightly reduced rate compared to the previous decade, with an annual increase of 1.6%. Early estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Intergovernmental Group (IGG) indicate that by 2032, black tea production will reach 4.42 mmt, driven by advancements in major tea-producing countries. Notably, Sri Lanka is forecasted to recover from recent crop shortfalls, contributing to this growth.

Furthermore, global green tea output is poised for a faster growth rate of 6.3% annually, reaching 4.25 mmt in 2032. This increase is primarily attributed to China, where green tea production is forecasted to almost double from 2.06 mmt from 2020 to 2022 to 3.98 mmt in 2032. China's expansion results from increased productivity achieved through replanting higher-yielding varieties, and improved agricultural practices. Furthermore, Vietnam is expected to expand its green tea production with an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 1.5%, overcoming persistent sector challenges such as low production efficiency and lower quality, which impacted the country's pricing and export earnings.

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