By Claudia Carpenter
Peru will surpass Bolivia as the largest exporter of quinoa this year with shipments set to rise 25 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service said.
Peru’s exports will climb to 40,000 metric tons of the grain valued at $180 million from 32,000 tons last year and exceed Bolivia for the first time, the FAS said in a report on the USDA website. The report didn’t give an estimate for Bolivia’s exports. The U.S. accounted for 53 percent of Peru’s quinoa exports in 2013, the FAS said.
Quinoa was traditionally produced in Peru for domestic consumption. Due to growing demand from overseas, the country’s production has more than doubled in the past three years to 92,253 tons in 2014, the FAS said. Peru’s output this year will climb another 17 percent to 108,000 tons, it said.
Rising international prices as a result of increased demand encouraged farmers in Peru to switch from other crops such as rice to quinoa which requires less water, the FAS said. Prices paid to farmers range from $4,000 to $4,500 a ton, with the cost of production at $2,200 a ton, it said.
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