World tea production continued to grow in 2006. The annual growth rate was more than 3 % to reach an estimated 3.6 million tonnes. The expansion was mainly due to record crops in China, Viet Nam and India.
The very latest figures put world black tea production at 2.5 million tonnes as compared to 968 000 tonnes for green tea. FAO projections to 2017 indicate that world green tea production is expected to grow at a considerably faster rate than black tea, 4.5 % annually compared to 1.9 % for black tea. The projections reflect the growth in China where the programme for production expansion through rehabilitation, replanting and some conversion is expected to continue to 2017.
The level of world tea consumption in 2006 was roughly equal to production. But its growth rate was only one percent, a slowdown from the annual average of 2.7 % growth over the previous decade. Per capita consumption in the major tea producing countries lags behind, in spite of their strong economic growth. Russians consume 1.26 kg per year and the British 2.2 kg per year but in India tea consumption is only 0.65 kg per head per year and in China it is only 0.53 kg per year.
-Intergovernmental meeting on tea