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China's tea exports expected to hold firm
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China's tea exports in 2009 are expected to remain stable or grow slightly, said Huo Jianguo, chairman of China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products, in Chengdu on Sunday.

China's tea export increased by 4.5 per cent year-on-year in the first four months, while total exports dropped more than 20 percent over the same period.

"Tea is a daily food item, and there is still considerable demand for China's tea amid the global downturn. As tea stockpiles in the international market reduce, China's tea exports will see further growth in the second half," said Cai Jun, secretary general of the association.

China exported 297,000 tonnes of tea valued at US$682 million in 2008, accounting for a fifth of the total international tea trade.

China has exported to more than 120 countries, and 80 million people work in the mainland tea industry.

"As the largest tea production country and the third largest tea export country, China still faces challenges in building a standard production and quality control system, and fostering and promoting its own tea brand in the international market," said Huo.

(Xinhua News Agency June 8, 2009)

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