Quinoa trade has tripled in four years

© Hollandse Hoogte / AP | Associated Press
In 2016, the Netherlands imported approximately 5.5 million kilograms of quinoa seeds, a record amount and more than three times the volume of 2012. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on new analyses of trade figures.

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Quinoa exports have increased as well, from 1.4 million kg in 2012 to 3.5 million kg in 2016; in the first half of 2017, both imports and exports of quinoa amounted to 2.1 million kg. The bulk originates from South America, mainly from Peru. There has been a growing worldwide interest in quinoa over the past few years.

Over 63 percent of quinoa imports are not destined for the Dutch market but re-exported. The remainder stays in the Netherlands and is used for consumption. In 2016, over 2 million kg of imported quinoa were available for domestic consumption, versus only 267 thousand kg four years previously. Over the past few years, the Netherlands has also started producing quinoa on a very small scale. There are currently around 20 quinoa farms with a total size of less than 100 ha.

Quinoa trade in the Netherlands
 Imports (x million kg)Exports (x million kg)

Peru main country of origin

Most of the quinoa imported by the Netherlands is of South American origin: 5.4 million kg in 2016 (including transit trade), representing nearly 90 percent of the total import volume. Peru is by far the largest supplier with close to 4.1 million kg, followed by Bolivia (more than 0.9 million kg) and Chile (0.4 million kg). The Netherlands also imports quinoa from other European countries (primarily re-exports and transit trade), most notably the United Kingdom and Spain.

Dutch exports mainly go elsewhere in Europe: 93 percent of the quinoa leaving our country in 2016 went to another EU country. Germany and Austria are the most important destinations. Small volumes are furthermore exported to Asia and the Americas.

Quinoa imports and exports in the Netherlands, 2016
  (x million kg)
Top 5 suppliers
United Kingdom0.16
Top 5 export destinations

The Netherlands is the EU’s largest quinoa exporter

The Netherlands plays a key role in the European quinoa market. Within the EU, it is the second largest quinoa importer with a volume of over 6 million kg. Only France imports more: approximately 6.3 million kg. In third place is Germany with 5.2 million kg.

The Netherlands is the EU’s largest quinoa exporter by far (over 3.5 million kg). France and Germany follow at some distance with 1.5 and 1.3 million kg respectively in 2016.

Quinoa trade in the EU, 2016
  (x million kg)
Top 5 importing countries
Top 5 exporting countries
United Kingdom0.84
Source: CBS, Eurostat