Tea was discovered in China and was a national secret of China for centuries. The British Empire identified tea and popularized it in the entire world. It was Britishers who introduced tea to India & Sri Lanka. Once the cultivation of tea in India was successful, the British empire played a huge role in making tea popular among all the British colonies & even across the rest of the world
East India company supplied most of the tea to Great Britain in the 18th Century. Hence United Kingdom has the most influential role in the history of tea trade in the world.
From 17th Century till date, a lot has changed, but in terms of per capita personal consumption of tea, UK is still the highest in the world.
Tea Trade Analysis
Tea imports of United Kingdom :
- United Kingdom is the 4th largest importer of tea in the world. It imported a total of USD 396 Millions worth of tea in 2018 ( As per ITC trade data 2018)
- Major import partner for UK is Kenya which fulfills almost 44% of the UK's total imports amounting to USD 176 Millions in value and 63 Million MT is volume.
- The growth of trade between Kenya and UK has been 9% in Value and 7% in volume year on year for the span of 2014 to 2018.
- India is the 2nd largest supplier of tea for United Kingdom. India supplied tea worth USD 62 Millions in 2018 which was 15.8% of the total tea imported by UK.
- The tea trade between India & United Kingdom has been constant for the period of 2014 to 2018.
- Malawi is Africa's emerging tea growing nation. Malawi is the third largest tea supplier to United Kingdom.It supplied tea worth USD 24.36 Millions to UK in 2018.
- The tea trade between UK & Malawi has seen significant year on year growth of 14% in value and 8% in volume.
- Poland is the 4th largest supplier, exporting tea worth USD 22.52 Millions & Sri Lanka stands as the 5th Largest supplier at USD 13.7 Million.
Tea Exports from United Kingdom :
- Though UK is not among the tea growing regions, there is some amount of the re export that happens from UK. In terms of export of tea from UK, Ireland is the major buyer buying tea worth USD 33.88 Million. Canada & USA are the 2nd & 3rd largest buyers, buying teas worth USD 15.85 millions & USD 14.07 Million respectively.
- France buys tea worth USD 12.72 Million from UK & then there are small supplies to Germany, Netherlands , Spain, Italy etc.
- There are some British companies who own tea plantations in India & Sri Lanka. The revenue from the export of tea from the plantation have not been taken into consideration in this data.
- Overall United kingdom is a good export market for tea suppliers from Kenya & India. It is the market for quality teas, hence if quality parameters are strictly followed the tea business to United kingdom will surely flourish in coming years.