Vietnam tea exports up 30 pct in first half

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Tea exports from Vietnam have risen 30 percent in the first six months to US$80 million thanks to increases in both prices and shipment volumes, industry officials say.

Vietnam, the world's fifth largest tea exporter, shipped 60,000 tons of tea in January-June, up 25 percent over the same period last year, the Vietnam Economic Times reported, citing the Vienam Tea Association.

According to the association, prices for Vietnamese tea has increased by more than $100 per ton so far this year, hitting a record US$1,340.

Experts said Vietnamese exporters have begun to boost shipment of processed tea products and pay more attention to brand building and promotion.

However, they also noted that Vietnamese tea still does not fetch high prices on the global market, at just 40-50 percent of the prices that other countries are able to earn. Tea as raw material accounted for up to 90 percent of the country's tea exports, they said.

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