Located in central eastern Africa (bordered by Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia), Malawi’s economy is largely based on agriculture, which generates a third of the country’s GDP. The capital city is Lilongwe but the commercial centre is Blantyre, home of the regular tea auction.
Mulanji and Thyolo remain the two tea-producing areas of Malawi. In total, there are 22 tea estates. The higher elevations in Thyolo (900 m vs. 600 m) produce higher quality tea. Malawi produces about 48,000 metric tons annually, mostly black tea for tea bags. Some green and whole leaf specialty teas are also produced. Malawi accounts for about 3% of the world’s production.
Malawi exports close to 95% of its production. Primary markets are UK and South Africa. Other markets include Netherlands, Germany, USA, Pakistan and Canada.