IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Cassava – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.
Since Cassava Constitutes a Staple Food in Tropical Countries, the Market Should Remain Stable Even Amid the Pandemic
Cassava (Manihot esculenta), also known as manioc, yuca, macaxeira, mandioca, aipim, and agbeli, is a plant native to South America which is extensively cultivated as a staple crop in tropical and subtropical regions in Africa and Asia for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. Cassava, along with rice and maize, is one of the largest sources of calories in the tropics, thereby constituting a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for millions of people.
In 2019, the global cassava market increased by 0.4% to $164.1B (IndexBox estimates), rising for the third consecutive year after two years of decline. Overall, consumption continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2014 with an increase of 7.8% y-o-y. As a result, consumption attained a peak level of $172.1B. From 2015 to 2019, the growth of the global market remained at a somewhat lower figure.
The countries with the highest volumes of cassava consumption in 2019 were Nigeria (61M tonnes), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (32M tonnes) and Thailand (32M tonnes), with a combined 42% share of global consumption. Ghana, Brazil, Indonesia, Angola, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Mozambique, China, and Malawi lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 37%.
The countries with the highest levels of cassava per capita consumption in 2019 were Ghana (646 kg per person), Cambodia (572 kg per person), and Angola (494 kg per person).
From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of cassava per capita consumption, amongst the leading consuming countries, was attained by Mozambique, while cassava per capita consumption for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
Since cassava constitutes a well-established product in tropical countries of Africa and South America, as well as in some countries of South-Eastern Asia, the patterns of cassava consumption and the overall market demand should remain stable. Therefore, the growth of the population of tropical countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and, consequently, the demand for food products will remain the key driver of the market in the medium term.
As cassava is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, capable of growing on poor soils, it is less sensitive to the risk of adverse weather conditions as many other crops. Accordingly, political instability in African countries, which hampers economic development, remains the main constraint on market growth.
Moreover, in early 2020, the global economy entered a period of the crisis caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to battle the spread of the virus, most countries in the world implemented quarantine measures that put on halt production and transport activity. The combination of those factors hampers economic growth heavily throughout the world and disrupts the international supply chains. The result will be a drop in GDP relative to previous years which is to cut consumer spending.
Cassava, however, features among staple food products which are rather tolerant to crisis periods in terms of consumption. Given the fact that cassava is largely consumed in countries with low incomes and where it constitutes an affordable and important diet item, it is not expected that the COVID crisis will lead to a deep decrease in cassava consumption. It is more likely that people would cut the consumption of more expensive food items on the backdrop of lower incomes but keep the main diet element. In the medium term, therefore, population growth will continue to stimulate growth in demand for cassava.
Driven by increasing demand for cassava in major consuming countries, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next decade. Market performance, however, is forecast to expand with an anticipated CAGR of +0.8% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 326M tonnes by the end of 2030.
Tropical Countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America Remain the Largest Producers of Cassava
The countries with the highest volumes of cassava production in 2019 were Nigeria (61M tonnes), Thailand (32M tonnes), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (32M tonnes), with a combined 42% share of global production. Ghana, Brazil, Indonesia, Angola, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Mozambique, Malawi, and Cote d’Ivoire lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 37%.
From 2013 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Cote d’Ivoire, while cassava production for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
In 2019, the total area harvested in terms of cassava production worldwide rose to 26M ha, increasing by 3.3% on the previous year’s figure. Over the period under review, the harvested area, however, saw a relatively flat trend pattern. The global harvested area peaked at 26M ha in 2017; however, from 2018 to 2019, the harvested area failed to regain the momentum.
In 2019, the global average cassava yield dropped slightly to 12 tonnes per ha, leveling off at the previous year’s figure. The yield figure increased at an average annual rate of +1.2% over the period from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2014 with an increase of 6.4% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the average cassava yield hit record highs at 12 tonnes per ha in 2018 and then dropped in the following year.
China, Thailand and Viet Nam Constitute the Largest Importers of Cassava
In 2019, the amount of cassava imported worldwide reduced to 6.6M tonnes, declining by -14.9% against the previous year. Overall, imports recorded a pronounced descent. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 when imports increased by 15% y-o-y. Global imports peaked at 10M tonnes in 2017; however, from 2018 to 2019, imports failed to regain momentum. In value terms, cassava imports dropped significantly to $1.3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.
The purchases of the three major importers of cassava, namely China, Thailand, and Viet Nam, represented more than two-thirds of total imports. South Korea (239K tonnes) took a relatively small share of total imports.
From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of purchases, amongst the key importing countries, was attained by Thailand, while imports for the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the import figures.
In value terms, China ($531M), Viet Nam ($285M), and Thailand ($267M) constituted the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2019, together accounting for 83% of global imports.
In terms of the main importing countries, Thailand saw the highest rates of growth with regard to the value of imports, over the period under review, while purchases for the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the import figures.
The average cassava import price stood at $198 per tonne in 2019, which is down by -11.4% against the previous year. Overall, the import price recorded a pronounced curtailment. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 when the average import price increased by 2.9% against the previous year. Over the period under review, average import prices attained the peak figure at $270 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2019, import prices remained at a lower figure.
There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2019, the country with the highest price was China ($219 per tonne), while Thailand ($124 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.
From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by South Korea, while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.
Source: IndexBox AI Platform
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