SEOUL, July 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The imports of mate tea (pronounced as “mah-tay”) have grown 18 times for the past five years. It contrasts well with the importation of green tea and black tea growing only 3.4 times during the same period. The caffeine-rich tea from South America is popular in Korea principally because of its supposed effectiveness in helping to reduce weight.
According to data released by the Korea Customs Service on July 18, the import volume of teas including black tea, green tea, and mate tea has increased rapidly, of which that for mate tea showed the marked growth. The annual average import growth rate for mate tea for the past five years was 107 percent, followed by green tea (89%) and black tea (29%).
Of all the tea imports, those of black tea took the lion’s share of 79 percent, or $8.85 million, while the remaining 21 percent accounted for by those of green tea and other teas. As for unit price, green tea was the highest with US$24.64 per kilogram, about twice the average price of all teas at $12.99.
In terms of import origin, a bulk of green tea came from China (41.9%), Singapore (28.6%), and Mongolia (12.7%) while 66.0 percent of mate tea was imported from Argentina. The biggest supplier of black tea was China (46.0%).
by Sean Chung (email@example.com)