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Flaxseeds


SPECIFICATIONS:

Moisture    max 9 %  
Impurities   max 9 %
Grain admixure   max 5%
Oil content
  min 40%

ORIGIN - Ukraine


General Characteristics

 - Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is one of the oldest cultivated crops, having been grown since the beginning of civilization. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Flax was grown primarily for use in linens. Burial chambers dating back to about 3000 B.C. depict flax cultivation and contained clothing made from flax fibers
 - Flax  is a member of Linaceae family. It is grown throughout the world including Canada, India, China, United States, Ethiopia and all over Europe. Linseed is grown mainly for fibre, oil, pharmaceutical and ornamental plants. Apart from food use linseed oil is used in allied industries also due to its polymerization property. The plant produces spherical fruit capsules containing around 10 kernels per compartment. The kernels have a crisp and chewy texture and a pleasant, nutty taste. Linseed is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids. It contains 50-60% linolenic acid which offers several health benefits such as lowering serum cholesterol, reduces blood pressure and thus maintaining the health in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, asthma and arthritis


Flaxseed fields




World market

 - The global demand for flax is growing substantially, owing to its demand from the food, textile and paper industries. Flax usage in baked goods has more than doubled in countries such as the U.S. The global demand for flax as a functional food and feed additive is expected to see strong growth over the next five years. Flax crop derivatives such as the seeds and straw are used in different applications such as healthy flax oils, omega enriched end products, pet foods, textile flax fiber, and insulation materials.
 - There is increasing health benefits from consumption of flax seed products as a major factor driving the market. Flax seeds are rich in Lignans, Fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids that aid in the control of blood sugar and cholesterol. Interestingly, flax products can help in protecting against breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Moreover, usage of flax in the textile and plastic industries is another key driving factor. 
 - The market for flax products in Asia and North America, particularly China and the U.S, is set to grow significantly in the near future. Canada, as the larges producer of flax in the world, is the major supplier to the U.S and China. Canada produced 712 thousand tons in 2013 and expects to produce more than 700 thousand tons by the end of this year. In 2012, the average price of flax seeds was in the range of $520 to $550 per ton. Russia is the major exporter of flax and reportedly, will continue to export larger quantities over the next five years. Other countries such as Argentina, China, Kazakhstan, Peru and Ukraine also supply significant quantities of flax products.  


Flaxseed production



Flaxseed production by region




Global flaxseed production





Flax exports by destination





Flax exports 2013/14



Ukraine market

 - In the beginning of 2000 the flaxseed production in Ukraine was followed by the essential growth. Thus in 2008 flaxseed planted areas totaled 19.33 thsd ha and in 2009 – 47.74 thsd ha and in 2010 – 58.9 thsd ha. But still in the recent few years the planted areas stopped growing, despite the available potential, and totaled 55-60 thsd ha (57 thsd ha in 2012 the harvest totaled 48 thsd tonnes). Harvest 2013 - 25 thsd tonnes. Besides in Ukraine flaxseed production is lower compared with the world leaders. Ukrainian flaxseed yield totals 8-9 c/ha meanwhile in the USA the stated rate totals nearly 14-15 c/ha, in Canada – 12-15 c/ha, in Russia – 8-12 c/ha. This fact also impacts on the Ukrainian flaxseed price formation. Despite the growing popularity of flax seed and its by-products, Ukrainian flaxseed market is still niche and taking the small segment of the general oilseeds market. It is due to the limitedness of the sales markets of flax seed and its by-products.
 - The major consumer of flaxseed in Ukraine is the processing industry. Its main by-products are flaxseed oil and cake. Flaxseed oil is the excellent raw-material for the technical purpose in varnish-and-paint, soap, and leather industry, and also for production of aluminum and oil paints for art and other. Flaxseed cake is also the great high protein content component for mixed-feed production. Meanwhile chemical industry and cattle-breeding in Ukraine are in the loss so the flaxseed is being processed by the certain companies. Flaxseed cake is actively used for feed by the private sector just only in the regions of the commodity production.
 

Selected flaxseed exporters





Black Sea flaxseed production





- In the recent years since 2008 when in the Canadian flax seed there have been found gm additives, the EU faces the high interest to the CIS seeds because they are ecologic. Thus the total exports of the commodity from Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as of the end of July 2012 totaled 510 thsd tonnes, up 2 times of the previous year rate (237 thsd tonnes). The major buyers of the Ukrainian flaxseed are Belgium, imported 8659 tonnes of flaxseed, Poland – 4286 tonnes, Lithuania – 2945 tonnes, Germany – 2048 tonnes, Italy – 1542 tonnes. In 2012 year there has been unexpected importer of Ukrainian flaxseed – Vietnam – nearly 10 thsd tonnes. In total  Ukraine exported 30 thsd tonnes of flaxseed, or nearly 5.9% from the stated common exports. 
 - Though flax seed export is the prospective direction owing its popularity growth on the world market, in Ukraine its exports and production stopped the developing. One of the reasons is the stated regulation which does not provide the support for oil seed production.  Ukraine's major competitors are Russia and Kazakhstan. Their producers are in more favorable situation unlike of the Ukrainian colleagues. First there is the program of the state support for flaxseed production. Agrarians get donations. Besides these countries have own energetic resources so the prices for fuel, mineral fertilizers and oil are lower of the Ukrainian ones causing the decrease of the prime-cost of the produced commodities.

Western Europe flaxseed prices





European & Canadian flax prices