Flaxseed Market Update – September 2023

Flaxseed Seeds in Kazakhstan

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Flaxseed Market Overview

In our Flaxseed Market Update – September 2023, we look at the latest news in the global flaxseed market, with a special focus on Kazakhstan. The flaxseed market in 2023 is dynamic, shaped by factors like volatile weather, decreased production forecasts, and continuous market difficulties.

The recent weather conditions in Kazakhstan have played a crucial role in shaping this year’s flaxseed crop. The harvest faced a significant three-week delay because of continuous rainfall throughout the country. Occurring during a crucial period for flaxseed growth from late August to mid-September.

These circumstances prompt us to explore the future of flaxseed production in this region. So, let’s dive into the current challenges facing the flaxseed industry:

Flaxseed Challenges

Reduced Sowing

Kazakhstan’s flaxseed sowing in 2023 has recorded a significant drop, currently amounting to only 909 thousand tons, which marks the lowest figure since 2017 when it reached 858 thousand tons. This reduction in sowing highlights a concerning trend for the Kazakh flaxseed production.

Quality Issues

Quality issues pose another significant challenge for Kazakhstan’s 2023 flaxseed crop. The initial batches harvested from this season are of high humidity and color discrepancies. Making the produced batches less appealing to potential buyers. Flaxseed buyers typically prefer high-quality flaxseed, and as a result, Russian or Canadian flaxseed may become a more attractive option for many importers.

Our flax-growing partner in Kazakhstan recently inform:

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The situation is not good in Kazakhstan this year. We expect low yield because of the bad weather conditions in the summer. The biggest problem will be in high humidity and bad microbiology, also the color of flaxseed might be an issue.

Microbiological Concern

Wet weather conditions have persisted, causing concerns among both farmers and exporters. The primary worry is the high humidity levels, which can lead to microbiological issues. Microbiological concerns are particularly important for exporters targeting European markets, where clients are usually demanding and selective about product quality.

Flaxseed Seeds in Northern Kazakhstan
Flaxseeds seeds ready to be harvest

Flaxseed Market Trends

Flaxseed Production Shift in Kazakhstan

Despite facing challenges, it’s essential to acknowledge the historical context of flaxseed production in Kazakhstan. Since 2020, production has been on a declining trend. On the other hand, export activity remained strong during the 2022/23 season, with an impressive 750 thousand tons exported.

This increase was largely because of large stocks from 2021 and 2022 production. The overall interest in flaxseed cultivation in Kazakhstan seems to be decreasing because of lower yields and reduced profit for farmers.

Russia’s Dominance in Flax Production

Russia has emerged as the global leader in flaxseed production, boasting an impressive 1.7 million tons produced in the previous year. This substantial production capacity has also translated into a dominant position in flaxseed exports. In the 2022/23 season, Russia shipped out 1.3 million tons of flaxseed, and China stood as its leading trade partner, purchasing nearly 70% of Russia’s flaxseed production.

Declining Flax Production in Canada

The Canadian statistics office, StatCan, has released its crop estimates. StatCan project that this year’s flax harvest will reach approximately 268,000 tons. This isn’t just a big 43% drop from last year’s 435,000 tons: it’s also the smallest flax harvest in Canada since 1967.

Growth of Organic Flaxseed Production

It’s good to highlight that Kazakh farmers are still very interested in growing organic products (including Organic Flaxseed). This trend has been consistently growing each year. This is a positive sign for the organic raw material importers, indicating opportunities in Kazakhstan for upcoming seasons.

Flaxseed Production in Kazakhstan

Let’s examine the production data more closely. Our chart ‘Flaxseed Production in Kazakhstan’ offers detailed information on flaxseed production, harvest, and yield statistics from 2017 to 2022. It also includes an estimate for this year’s crop.

YearPlanted Area (1000 ha)Production (1000 Tons)Yield (T/ha)
20178586830,79
201810769330,87
2019124510070,81
2020134210580,79
202112607560,60
202214108150,58
2023 (Estimation)9096360,70

Upon analyzing the chart, we can observe that flaxseed sowing in 2022 reached an impressive 1.41 million tons. But, as per Kazakhstan’s official stats, the expected planting for 2023 could be 35% less, down to 909 thousand tons. This stark decrease raises concerns on global flaxseed market.

Flaxseed Seeds September 2023
Flaxseeds fields ready to be harvested

Flaxseed Market Summary

In summary, the flaxseed market is facing several problems such as reduced planting, quality issues, and concerns about lower yields. These factors have led to the 2023 crop being estimated as the lowest since 2017. Furthermore, farmers are showing declining interest in flaxseed cultivation due to its diminishing profitability, with many opting for alternative crops like sunflower.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s commitment to organic flaxseed production presents an opportunity for sustainable growth in the organic sector in Kazakhstan.

While challenges persist in the flaxseed market, proactive monitoring and strategic sourcing decisions can help buyers navigate these difficulties and secure their flaxseed supply.

Source: 

  1. https://eldala.kz/rating/13284-top-10-proizvoditeley-semyan-lna
  2. https://www.apk-inform.com/en/news/agroexport/1524677
  3. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/230914/t001b-eng.html

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.

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