China Tea Price Watch – March 30 2022

Tea Price Report

Tea Price ReportPrice volatility is an ongoing concern as the coronavirus continues to spread in China. The tea lands are not greatly impacted as of March 2022 but Shanghai and surrounding ports as well as far northern provinces are in lockdown. The Tea Biz Tea Price Report report tracks average prices at major tea auctions and lists prices for specific types of specialty tea, drawing on many sources including the China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA) which provides a benchmark for the 10 famous teas from the world’s largest tea exporting country. Listen free to the weekly summaries on the Tea Biz Podcast and click either the China Price Watch or India Price Watch for a full report analyzing trends with additional data sets and graphs. John Yanxu researches and translates and Dan Bolton writes the Weekly China Price Watch from March through May. Aravinda Anantharaman in Bengaluru compiles the India Price Watch year-round.

Photo of veteran tea pluckers in Guizhou courtesy of  CTMA.


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China Price Watch

Favorable weather continues in China where a cool, wet February followed a warm January that promoted budding. Rainfall since has led growers to predict a strong harvest. “The quality of spring tea in 2022 is significantly better than that of last year, and the color, aroma, and taste are all ideal,” according to the China Tea Circulation Association.

China has gone to great lengths to adjust labor restrictions due to COVID. During the winter all factories and equipment were thoroughly cleaned and plans of action were established to manage the transportation of tea and tea pickers to ensure smooth operations. Currently, there are sufficient workers to meet production demand. Wages for workers have increased between 5% and 20% depending on location. In China, workers are either paid by the day or for the total kilos harvested.

Rates in Sanjiang County, Liuzhou, Guangxi, are 60-70 yuan/catty [a catty is equal to 500 grams]; in Lingshan County and Pubei County in Qinzhou the rate is 35 yuan/catty, and in Zhaoping County in Hezhou the rate is 40 yuan/catty. The day rate is 150 yuan (about $23.50 per day USD). In Guizhou, the daily salary of mining workers in some areas has increased by about 20-40 yuan compared with last year, and the overall range is 80-200 yuan per person per day. In Qinglong and Pu’an counties in southwestern Guizhou have reached 200 yuan/person/day (about $31.50 per day USD)

Tea Prices

Trade is brisk but green tea prices remained about the same as last year with some regions reporting a notable increase. Early (pre-Qing Ming) spring tea trading was booming in Hainan, Guangxi, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Fujian. In Sanjiang County, Guangxi, improved quality led to a significant increase in prices compared to the same period last year – the highest price of green tea of ​​the same grade in the same period last year was 85 yuan/catty, but this year it reached 115 yuan/catty. The price of one bud and one leaf of Nianfuyun No. 6 was 14-25 yuan/catty in 2021, while it is as high as 25-35 yuan/catty an increase of more than 40%in the same period of this year.

China harvested 3.18 million metric tons in 2021, up from 2.97 million metric tons of tea harvested in 2020 and well ahead of pre-pandemic 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China’s Statistical Communiqué on 2021 National Economic and Social Development.

Click to see the complete China Tea Circulation Association’s February 2022 Report*

Related
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March 30th, 2022

Average Domestic Prices for Finished Tea in USD per catty** [500 grams]  Low High
Westlake Dragonwell (西湖龙井) | Hangzhou, Zhejiang $94.62  $315.40
Biluochun (Spiral Spring Green) (洞庭山碧螺春) | Suzhou, Jiangsu $867.35  $1,340.45
Huangshan Maofeng (洞庭山碧螺春) | Huangshan, Anhui $138.78  $283.86
Xinyang Maojian (信阳毛尖) | Xinigyang, Henan $141.93  $283.86
Liu’an Guapian (六安瓜片) | Lu’an, Anhui N/A N/A
Taiping Houkui (太平猴魁) | Huangshan, Anhui N/A N/A
Meitan Cuiya (湄潭翠芽) | Zunyi, Guizhou $126.16  $236.55
Wuyi Rock Tea (武夷岩茶) } Wuyishan, Fujian N/A N/A
Dafuo Dragonwell (大佛龙井) | Xinchang, Zhejiang $70.96  $134.04
Wufeng Green (五峰绿茶) | Wufeng, Hubei N/A N/A
N/A indicates insufficient quantities harvested to establish a reliable price range.

March 30th, 2021

Average Domestic Prices for Finished Tea in USD per catty** [500 grams]  Low High
Westlake Dragonwell (西湖龙井) | Hangzhou, Zhejiang $304.40  $426.16
Biluochun (Spiral Spring Green) (洞庭山碧螺春) | Suzhou, Jiangsu $395.72  $1,293.70
Huangshan Maofeng (洞庭山碧螺春) | Huangshan, Anhui $45.66  $183.64
Xinyang Maojian (信阳毛尖) | Xinigyang, Henan $106.54  $304.40
Liu’an Guapian (六安瓜片) | Lu’an, Anhui N/A  N/A
Taiping Houkui (太平猴魁) | Huangshan, Anhui N/A  N/A
Meitan Cuiya (湄潭翠芽) | Zunyi, Guizhou $79.14  $121.76
Wuyi Rock Tea (武夷岩茶) } Wuyishan, Fujian N/A  N/A
Dafuo Dragonwell (大佛龙井) | Xinchang, Zhejiang $76.10  $213.08
Wufeng Green (五峰绿茶) | Wufeng, Hubei $30.44  $152.20
N/A indicates insufficient quantities harvested to establish a reliable price range.
Prices are reported by tea type in representative growing regions. Price calculations are local, reflecting domestic prices averaged from many different farms to determine a range.* In general, the lower range describes teas available in quantity. The high range is influenced by scarcity but in China, many desirable, high-value teas are grown in large quantities. Averages are calculated in Yuan (RMB) and converted to USD. Export prices vary greatly from the domestic averages listed above. Source: China Tea Marketing Association | Special thanks to John Yanxu in Yunnan for translating.
*Weekly averages are a joint effort of the Shanxi Tea Society, Liaoning Tea Industry Association, Jiangsu Tea Association, Zhejiang Tea Industry Association, Anhui Tea Industry Association, Henan Tea Association, Henan Tea Chamber of Commerce Hubei Tea Association, Hunan Tea Industry Association, Guangdong Tea Industry Association, Guangxi Tea Industry Association, Hainan Tea Association, Chongqing Tea Chamber of Commerce, Sichuan Tea Circulation Association, Guizhou Green Tea Brand Development Promotion Association, Yunnan Tea Circulation Association, Shaanxi Tea Industry Association
**The catty, kati or 斤, read as jin in Chinese, is a traditional Chinese unit of mass used for weighing food and other groceries in some wet markets, street markets, and shops. Related units include the picul, equal to 100 catties or 50 kilos of tea.
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Send comments and suggestions on how to improve this report to Dan Bolton (Dan.Bolton@TeaJourney.Pub)