Buckwheat Market Update – December 2023

Buckwheat Hulled in wooden spoon also called buckwheat groats.

Spis treści

As 2023 draws to a close, Europe’s buckwheat market faces significant challenges. An oversupply of buckwheat from 2022 harvest and new quantities from 2023 are causing issues. Farmers are dissatisfied with the current low prices, while buyers have more power to bargain for lower prices. In this report, we will also discuss buckwheat situation in Ukraine and its latest production stats.

Uncertainty about sales and the persistent low prices is compelling farmers to reconsider plans for the upcoming season. Therefore, addressing excess of buckwheat is vital for the market’s recovery in the second part of 2023/24 season.

Current Buckwheat Situation in Poland and Baltic States

The situation in Poland and Lithuania mirrors a similar story. Both countries are grappling with an excess supply from the 2022 and 2023 buckwheat crops. The 2022 harvest was a record-one for Poland, as detailed in our previous buckwheat report. On the other hand, production in 2023 declined notably, primarily due to reduced yields.

After a challenging 2022/23 sales season for groats, the industry expected increased demand in the new season. However, the market’s pace in buckwheat trade has been sluggish. As a result, farmers are still holding stocks from the 2022 harvest along with the new crop. This extended market stagnation has left farmers feeling discouraged about growing more buckwheat in the next campaign.

Buckwheat Whole in Farmers Hands 2023
Buckwheat Whole in farmers hand 2023

The market has been moving slowly lately, and everyone is eagerly anticipating the next few months. Typically, there’s more trade during winter time, so everyone’s hopeful for increased sales at the start of 2024.

Customers who promise to order from the new year usually follow through, which gives us confidence in our sales forecast for this season (2023-2024). We’re optimistic that starting from January, we’ll observe an increase in orders from our regular European customers.

Ukraine’s Buckwheat Market: Current Challenges and Growth Prospects

Between 2018 and 2021, Ukraine witnessed a decline in buckwheat production and overall acreage due to its lower profitability compared to other crops. The country shifted focus to more lucrative alternatives crops.

However, a significant turnaround occurred in 2022 and 2023. Despite challenges such as the war with Russia, Ukraine achieved a record 207,000-ton production in 2023, with an average yield of 1.47 t/ha. This achievement under economic and geopolitical challenges highlights Ukraine’s ability to revive and rebuild previous production levels.

Export of buckwheat was banned on March 5, 2022, due to increased demand for groats within Ukraine and inability to import from Russia, its former trade partner. This ban also significantly limited export opportunities. However, the ban was lifted in January 2023, opening new possibilities for exporters, potentially improving Ukraine’s buckwheat position in Europe.

Moreover, the majority of Ukrainian exports, which was primarily transported by trucks, traditionally pass through the Polish border. However, since early November, this route has been inaccessible due to a blockade imposed by Polish transport companies. Protesters cite unfair competition from Ukrainian transport companies as the reason behind their actions, resulting in the blockade of major border crossings with Ukraine.

Blockade on the border Ukraine/Poland 2023
Blockade on the border Ukraine/Poland 2023

Below you can find chart ‘Buckwheat Production in Ukraine’, which presents complete buckwheat stats, from planted area, production quantities and yield, from 2013 to 2023.

Buckwheat Production in Ukraine

YearPlanted Area (1000 ha)Production (1000 Tons)Yield (T/ha)
20131891790.95
20141371671.22
20151331280.96
20161541761.15
20171841800.98
20181121371.21
201969851.23
2020691061.36
2021841131.30
20221161581.37
20231392071.49

Buckwheat Market Summary

The buckwheat market in Europe is dealing with excess supply from the 2022 and recent harvests, resulting in unhappy farmers due to consistently low prices and slow sales. Despite their expectations for improved sales this season, the market continues to move slowly. Both Poland and Lithuania encounter similar challenges.

Ukraine’s buckwheat production bounced back after a decline. Although the export ban lifted earlier this year, shipping through Poland remains tough for Ukrainian exports.

Yet, many groats producers widely believe that sales will pick up during the winter season, as domestic groats consumption typically rises during this period. Moreover, indications from foreign customers for new purchases suggest potential increased demand.

Source:

  1. https://interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/95258/
  2. https://www.apk-inform.com/en/news/1531387
  3. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/why-are-polish-truckers-blocking-ukraine-border-crossings-2023-11-30/

Author

Piotr Goral Post Picture

Piotr Góral

Co-Founder of Seedea

piotr@seedea.pl

+48 500 831 909

For many years, together with his small team, he has been boosting the sales of Polish family companies that supply food ingredients (mainly organic) to different foreign markets. His role involves creating new business projects and managing sales. He loves visiting suppliers and farmers during his travels, gathering valuable information that he shares through his articles.

Sign up to Seedea Newsletter

Join and get the Latest News & Product Reports from Seedea.
It’s free. No spam.