Quinoa is gaining popularity in the international market due to its excellent nutritional properties. Currently, the world’s largest supplier is Peru. However, its leadership is threatened by the entry of new competitors that are gradually gaining space in key markets. In 2022, the new competition not only creates substitutions for Peruvian products, but also extends to other large producing countries such as Bolivia, which are severely affected by lower yields per hectare and lower profitability.
In 2022, Peruvian quinoa exports will total 47,894 tons worth $94 million. This represents an 8% decrease in volume and a 12% decrease in value compared to 2021 shipments.
Flow of quinoa cultivation
The growth of quinoa cultivation has accelerated in Peru. In 2006, the planted area went from 28,600 hectares to 64,200 hectares in less than a year. This is due to its worldwide reputation as a superfood. However, this growth rate did not continue over time. Before the pandemic, there was a record 67,200 hectares, with only 3,000 hectares added in 15 years. It is reported that plantations in 2023 will be close to 76,000 hectares. However, these intentions are likely to slow due to weaker than expected international prices and lower shipments in 2022.
In 2022, Peruvian quinoa exports will total 47,894 tons worth $94 million. This represents an 8% decrease in volume and a 12% decrease in value compared to 2021 shipments. Prices have also been affected in this period, reaching an average of US$ 1.95 per kg, 4% less than the previous year.
The beginning of the year has been very hard for Peruvian quinoa. The logistics crisis is at its peak, with a shortage of containers and port congestion. This leads to the perception that the cost of Peruvian production is very high in distant destinations. The low profitability of quinoa compared to other products in the agricultural basket represents a major obstacle to the development of this Andean grain.
Another important factor is the inability to differentiate product from competitors. Currently, European or North American consumers cannot differentiate between Bolivian or Peruvian quinoa. Now, with new competitors, this distinction is even more necessary, as failure to do so risks a gradual loss of status in the presence of countries without historical traditions. Currently, the producing community is already working to promote the designation of origin of certain species of quinoa. However, there is a need for greater state participation to differentiate themselves and be able to face the future growth of competition.
Quinoa prices from new competitors
Due to the adaptability and high yield of quinoa, many European countries have grown their own crops. This is especially true in countries such as Spain or France, where agricultural supplies are extensive. This makes distant producing countries like Peru or Bolivia uncompetitive due to high shipping costs. In 2022 alone, Peruvian shipments to the EU will fall by around 8%. In addition, these products of European origin are also displacing Andean shipments in important markets such as the United States, where it is reported that Spain offers products at prices up to 45% lower than products of Andean origin.
In 2022, the main destinations for Peruvian quinoa are the United States (34% participation), Canada (10%), Italy (5%) and Holland (5%). Compared to 2021, exports to the U.S. . They totaled 14,487 tons, worth $32 million, a decrease of 9% in volume and 14% in value. In this market, the average price was US$ 2.21 per kg, a decrease of 5%.
Cargo to Canada reached 5,228 tons, valued at $10 million, 24% more in volume and 13% in value. The price of Peruvian quinoa in this market was US$ 1.85 per kg, a decrease of 9%.
Quinoa shipments to Italy were 2779 tons worth $5 million, 3 percent more in volume but 2 percent less in value. The price paid in this destination during the analysis period was US$ 1.81 per kg, 4% lower than the previous period.
In the end, shipments to the Netherlands totalled 2,659 tonnes worth $5 million. This represents a significant decrease of 26 per cent in volume and 29 per cent in value. As for prices, in this destination you pay an average of $1.88, a reduction of 3%.