The year 2020 was not to be very promising for the quinoa market due to COVID-19, and is projected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 5.1% during the forecast period from 2021-2026.

The three main ways the pandemic affected this market was by international logistics being disrupted affecting the supply chain and exports/imports. Restrictions on movement prevented many agriculture workers from accessing the fields, which therefore affected the volume of production.  

Price fluctuations and pesticide residue levels are holding back the growth of quinoa seeds, and the limited production of quinoa is subsequently limiting the growth of this market.

However, even during these times, quinoa continues to capture the attention of consumers around the world due to its nutritional value. The nutritional characteristics of quinoa seeds are especially attractive, due to its high protein content, gluten-free property, and high fiber content. Currently, the seed is used as a health food and a tasty alternative to rice.

South America Dominates the Market

South America is the leading producer of quinoa seeds where; Peru and Bolivia account for 90% of the global production of the so-called “grain of the Incas”, being one of the products that can contribute to combating the current COVID-19 pandemic. Quinoa is consumed as a staple food in South America, where recent technological developments and research into seed varieties have led to the development of varieties that can be cultivated in temperate climates.

For many years, the local-level of consumption and cultivation rates have been changing. Most of the quinoa production occurs in Southern Peru and Northern Bolivia. The consumption of quinoa is expected to increase in Brazil as the number of vegan consumers opting for non-animal product-based foods has increased by 40.0% over last year. This could drive the demand for healthier cereals comprised of brown rice, quinoa, amaranth etc

In Peru there are more than 68,000 small producers from the high-end areas that are particularly dedicated as associated with quinoa cultivation. Peru remains the world’s leading exporter and producer of quinoa. Accumulated quinoa exports in 2020 were US $ 125.7 million (51.6 thousand tons) versus US $ 135.9 million (49.4 thousand tons) the previous year;

 Bolivia is one of the poorest nations in Latin America, Although the country is rich in resources, with large reserves of oil, natural gas, tin and silver, among other commodities, and has strong hydroelectric energy potential, it remains very developed.

For generations, indigenous Bolivian farmers have grown and lived on quinoa. However in more than four decades, production yields have not improved and remain the same, in large and small producers, there has been a stagnation in production. This is due to technological lag and lack of productive innovation, lack of solidarity and competitiveness in the productive sector, no financial and non-financial instruments for assistance to Community productive development, reduced levels of investment and industrial articulation, as well as the absence of a productive and support structure at national level with impact at regional and local level.

In Argentina quinoa production is concentrated in the northwest, especially in Catamarca, Jujuy and Salta. Over the years the researchers obtained a variety with the conditions to be registered, with high levels of performance and resistance to different diseases present in the region.

The United States is one of the largest exporters and consumers of quinoa seeds in North America. Exports were valued at USD 15,634.4 thousand in 2019 and are projected to reach USD 17,385.8 thousand by 2025. Canada and Hong Kong were the major export destinations for the US quinoa seed exports and volumes are expected to increase, as the imports and domestic production of quinoa in the country is on the rise.

Tradelink continues to provide the finest organically cultivated and processed quinoa to supply your companies demand for sustainable, ethical, and traceable ingredients.



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