As we all know, the price of Pu-erh tea has been steadily increasing in the past decade. The crash of 2007 is seen as a detail in the Pu-erh's race to become China's most famous and pricey tea.
Since last Summer, there are a lot of discussions among the tea merchants. The investors are getting timorous. Who might reverse the trend in Pu-erh price evolution ? Xi Jinping of course !
The recently appointed Chinese president has taken serious measures to tackle corruption in the country. He wants to hunt down the corrupted « tigers and flies », and even though some analysts explain his motivation is to eliminate his political rival, the threat of being caught in an act of corruption has become very real in the government circles.
Pu-erh tea is an excellent gift in China, from a simple Dayi 7542 to a premium Lao Ban Zhang cake. A good cake can be the key to a signed contract, a construction permit or a business licence. But in those troubled times, it is unwise to accept gifts. Government officials are being watched and Big Brother Xi is waiting for them to commit a mistake. Hence, a decrease in demand should be expected.
This is good news for the average drinker, it seems in the past year, the high-end Pu-erh tea trade has been dominated by the rich, and I would love to be able to offer Yiwu or Lao Man E tea on Bannacha at a good price.
Yet, uncertainty remains, the Pu-erh tea market remains unfathomable, everybody was expecting a price drop in Autumn 2014, but it didn't happen. This year, prices in the mountain started lower than last year, but now that the customers have come to the mountain, they are back to their Spring 2014 level, at least they are not higher !
However, a more certain fact is that the euro is at its weakest while there is no change for the dollar against the yuan. Probably if something happens in the Pu-erh tea market, it will be in the next weeks, during the Spring harvest, but my guess is that if there is a price drop, it will be a small one, nothing like the 2007 crash.