The Flaxseed Paradox: Rising Exports, Falling Prices

Flaxseed on a plate

Spis treści

Following up on our recent post about the flaxseed market situation, we’re diving deeper into the latest export stats and exploring the influence of the Russian 2022 crop on the decreasing prices for Kazakh’s flaxseed 

Flaxseed Stats

Kazakhstan exported 302 000 tons of flaxseed in the six months after harvest from September 2022 to February 2023, a 58% increase from the previous year

China’s flaxseed imports from September 2022 to February 2023 reached 129 800 tons, nearly five times more than in the same period of the last season when only 27 000 tons were imported

Belgium reduced its imports from 65 000 tons to 54 000 tons, while Kazakhstan’s new business partner, Afghanistan, imported 43 000 tons in the first six months of the season, compared to just 4 270 tons a year ago.

Big 2023 Stocks & Russian Flaxseed Impact

The export dynamics have seen a growth in recent months, with China and EU countries resuming their flaxseed purchases

Other ‘new’ business partners (like Afghanistan) increased their purchasing volumes and become important buyer of Kazakh flaxseed 

Despite this, an excess of flaxseeds in the market has contributed to the price drop, as nearly 600,000 tons are still available from the 2021 Kazakh crop

This surplus results as well from very good harvest of flaxseed in Russia in 2022, which has also increased flax exports to China and India and is in direct competition with Kazakhstan

The significant price advantage offered by Russian flaxseed has put pressure on Kazakhstan’s flaxseed market, driving sellers to reduce their prices despite the higher demand for their product.

The Quest for Quality

While the price advantage of Russian flaxseed has been significant, the quality factor should not be underestimated

EU buyers, in particular, have shown a strong preference for Kazakh flaxseed due to its superior quality. When faced with a choice between the two origins, buyers are more likely to opt for flaxseed from Kazakhstan

According to EU importers, Russian flaxseed is very often exceeding pesticides EU limits and HCN acid results are higher than from Kazakh flaxseed

Sum Up

This year’s smaller crop is rather inevitable (the government of Kazakhstan has already spoken about it) – but the quantities of flax available for sale are still huge – both from the 2021 and 2022 season  

How will the flaxseed market develop in the coming months, and will we continue to observe price drops until new crop?

Stay connected for more flaxseed market updates and insights, and feel free to reach out if you’re interested in collaborating with our flaxseed partners


Piotr Góral Seedea

Piotr Góral

Co-Founder of Seedea (former Ittelia Foods)

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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