There is a tendency for the growth of exportable supplies to outstrip the slow growth in demand, bringing a downward trend in world prices and pressure on export earnings of producer countries. There is an insufficient identity of interest in these countries to counteract such trends.
Nearly 2 million metric tons of tea were produced in 1983. India produced over one-third; mainland China one-quarter; Sri Lanka, Kenya and Indonesia produced 7 to 10% each; Bangladesh and Argentina produced under 3.0% each. Smaller producers included Malawi and Brazil. Nearly 50% of production entered world trade. India, Sri Lanka, China and Kenya were the dominant exporters but Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique and Rwanda exported nearly 100% of their smaller. Other nations that exported more than 50% of their production included Indonesia, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Zaire and Brazil. The big consumer-importers are the UK, and the Islamic Middle-East and North Africa, these together taking nearly half of tea exports. The USA takes about 10% and Pakistan 8 to 9%.