Russians are paying more for a good cuppa,

Russians are paying more for a good cuppa, spending an average US$ 1.82 this year, up from US$ 1.69 in 2004. Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers in its weekly tea report quoted head of the Rusteacoffee industry lobby Ramaz Chanturiya saying that tea consumption in Russia will remain stable in the foreseeable future, but the share of more expensive brands and fruit-flavoured and herbal teas will rise.

Chanturiya has said that tea consumption in Russia has stayed within a range of 150,000 – 160,000 tonnes since 1997 with the market volume rising to 166,000 tonnes in 2004.

However, the country is not witnessing a serious change and that there are serious change and that there are serious doubts that there will be a further rise in 2005, the Russian officials had said.

the average price of tea imported into Russia rose to US$ 1.82 per kilo in the first quarter of 2005 from US$ 1.69 in 2004 and $1.43 in 2003.

The value of the market rose to US$ 1 billion in 2004 from US$ 800 million in 2003.

Russian’s Choice

Asia Siyaka’s report said that last year 93% of all tea consumed in Russia was black tea, with Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, China, Kenya and Vietnam accounting for 95% of imports.

The value of the market is expected to keep going up, as Russians consume more premium quality tea, while the share of tea in tea bags is touted to rise to 35-40% in 2007 from 24% in 2004.

Chanturiya had said that the development of the tea packaging industry in Russia may also make it possible to increase tea exports to other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Chanturiya had also said that Rusteacoffee was opposed to government plants to cut import tariffs on packed tea to 12% from the current 20% within the process of joining the World Trade Organization.

He said the implementation of this plan may cut investments in the sector and lower the quality of tea sold in Russia.

Rusteacoffee has prepared a series of measures to either block the adoption of such a decision, or at least minimize possible damage, the statement quoting Chanturiya said.

The share of non-traditional teas in Russia has been rising in the last years and producers expect this process to continue, Vyatcheslav Malinka, general director of Krasnogorskleksredstva producer of medicinal, fruit-flavoured and herbal teas said.

He added that the volume of traditional black tea consumed in Russia in 2004 declined by 2% to 138,000 tonnes from 141,000 tonnes in 2003.

The consumption of black tea containing herbs, fruit and flavours meanwhile rose by 19% to 8,200 tonnes from 6,900 tonnes, flavoured and non-flavoured green tea by 11% to 10,000 tonnes from 9,000 tonnes while herbal and fruit tea sales grew by 13% to 3,500 tonnes from 3,100 tonnes