Tea firms say Puer price may double

Yu Aitong
20 March 2010

The price of Puer tea, one of the most famous products of Yunnan, could double this year due to drought in the province.

The drought has damaged at least 200,000 hectares of tea plantations in the province, and more than 3,300 hectares of bushes have died already, the provincial tea industry office said.

The peak tea-plucking season was to start this weekend but has been postponed and the amount of tea harvested will drop if the drought does not end.

Many vendors said the price of Puer tea would rise by at least 30 per cent this year and some brands would see increases of up to 100 per cent.

The amount of tea in Lincang, one of the most seriously affected cities, has decreased by about two-thirds this year. The drought started eight months ago.

“We bought 30 tonnes of tea in 2008, but this year we have bought less than 10 tonnes,” a tea company manager told China News Service.

Another firm had to cut its production of Puer tea to a third of that in previous years because of high primary tea prices.

“The price of primary tea is 60 to 80 yuan (HK$68 to HK$91) per kilogram now – that is double last year,” he said. “I have to raise the price of our tea products by 50 to 100 per cent.”

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