Inside the Gulf Cooperation Council – Pulses and Special Crops Trade

Trade Summary

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are home to a young, predominantly muslim. This population is growing in size and expected to reach over 50 million by the year 2020. According to Euromonitor International, Saudi Arabia (26.5 million) and the United Arab Emirates (8.2 million) are the two largest populations in the region,both with large expatriate populations open to global food trends and used to traditional retail formats for their grocery needs. Canada is currently the largest exporter of pulses to the world with exports reaching C$3.5 billion in 2014, a 14% increase from 2013. Canada is by far the largest supplier of pulses and special crops to the GCC , recording a 48.9% market share in 2014 or C$193.9 million in exports. Canada’s closest competition in 2014 came from China (17.2%), Australia (10.6%), India (6.9%) and United States (5.2%). In 2014, lentils represented 78.7% of all of Canada’s pulse exports to the region with dried peas (16.6%) and kidney beans (1.9%) rounding out the top three products. The UAE is Canada’s largest GCC agri-food and food products export partner representing 93.1% of all GCC exports in 2014. Saudi Arabia is the only other substantial export destination with 6.1% of the market, while the other GCC partners purchase less than 1% of Canadian’s pulses.

Canada’s Performance

In 2014, Canada exported over C$3.5 billion of pulses and special crops to the world, 16.7% of which went to the GCC region. Canada’s top 5 markets are India with 25.4% , China with 9.1%, the United States with 9.0%, Turkey with 8.3%, and Bangladesh with 7.1% of total exports. The GCC was Canada’s sixth-leading export market just behind Bangladesh with C$193 million in 2014. Most of Canada’s pulse exports to the GCC were made up of lentils, with C$152.7 million of sales value, representing 78.7% of all pulses exported to the region in 2014. As a global market for lentils, the GCC ranked third in Canada’s top markets, with roughly 10.4% of Canada’s lentil exports to the world. behind India (27.8%) and Turkey (18.3%) that same year. Canada’s second-largest pulse export to the GCC was dried peas with a value of C$32.1 million in 2014, an increase of 63.4% from 2013. The GCC is Canada’s sixth-largest market for dried peas behind India (C$475.6 million), China (C$303.7 million), Bangladesh (C$211.7 million), the United States (C$90.5 million), and Cuba (C$40.0 million). The GCC is also a large destination market for Canadian kidney beans, receiving exports valued at C$3.6 million in 2014. Kidney beans are Canada’s fourth-largest pulse variety, representing 4.4% of all pulses exported to the world in 2014. The GCC was Canada’s fifth-leading market led by the UK (41.1%), the US (13.3%), Italy (11.6%), and Turkey (6.2%). The GCC purchased roughly 2.3% of all kidney beans Canada exported in 2014.

Competitive Landscape

Top 10 Countries Supplying Pulse and Special Crops Products to the GCC (C$)
Reporting Country 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 %Market Share in 2014 % CAGR 2010-14
Source: Global Trade Atlas, 2015
Total 317,350,160 370,005,961 244,716,383 375,292,856 397,046,571 100 5.8
Canada 104,595,200 121,958,479 42,747,815 134,001,258 193,991,939 48.9 16.7
China 76,827,690 57,128,781 42,639,874 88,584,069 68,342,772 17.2 −2.9
Australia 32,268,517 52,429,595 69,878,554 53,895,795 42,111,947 10.6 6.9
India 28,204,893 31,509,066 30,541,261 33,964,885 27,292,045 6.9 −0.8
United States 14,161,631 10,781,969 5,513,080 21,232,663 20,567,058 5.2 9.8
Turkey 30,579,056 34,699,386 18,358,339 16,027,871 15,307,604 3.9 −15.9
Argentina 11,726,067 9,315,122 18,157,576 19,478,081 10,179,336 2.6 −3.5
Mexico 1,453,700 268,497 9,498,815 3,045,314 9,674,338 2.4 60.6
Ukraine 258,149 1,104,912 701,788 233,205 2,119,164 0.5 69.3
Sri Lanka 9,987,202 3,647,552 671,485 724,920 1,786,974 0.5 −35.0
Top 10 Countries Supplying Pulse and Special Crops Products to the GCC and Top Three Products (C$)
Country Product Value C$ millions
Source: Global Trade Atlas, 2015
Canada Dried lentils 152.7
Canada Dried peas 32.1
Canada Kidney beans 3.1
China Sunflower seeds 54.1
China Kidney beans 14.1
China Buckwheat 0.04
Australia Chickpeas 30.9
Australia Dried lentils 10.7
Australia Mungo beans 0.3
India Chickpeas 26.2
India Mustard seeds 0.7
India Dried lentils 0.08
United States Sunflower seeds 9.5
United States Dried lentils 4.7
United States Dried peas 2.7
Turkey Dried lentils 11.1
Turkey Chickpeas 3.2
Turkey Dried peas 0.3
Argentina Sunflower seeds 7.1
Argentina Kidney beans 1.7
Argentina Dried peas 0.8
Mexico Chickpeas 9.6
Mexico Kidney beans 0.03
Ukraine Dried peas 1.5
Ukraine Chickpeas 0.5
Ukraine Canaryseed 0.01
Sri Lanka Dried lentils 1.3
Sri Lanka Chickpeas 0.4
Sri Lanka Mustard seeds 0.001

By the Numbers

GCC, Top 10 Pulse and Special Crops Product Imports from the World, 2014 (C$ millions)
HS Code Products Total Imports from World Top supplier
Source: Global Trade Atlas, 2015
071340 Dried lentils 181,322,153 Canada
071320 Chickpeas 74,868,764 Australia
120600 Sunflower seeds 74,832,564 China
071310 Dried peas 37,917,017 Canada
071333 Kidney beans 22,516,511 China
100830 Canaryseed 2,113,000 Canada
071339 Dried beans 1,372,123 United States
071331 Mungo beans 946,333 Australia
120750 Mustard seeds 855,479 India
071332 Adzuki beans 151,632 Columbia

Canadian Pulse Export Performance in the GCC

Canada’s Pulse and Special Crops Exports to the GCC Countries by Value C$- 2010-2014
Country 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Source: Global Trade Atlas, 2015
United Arab Emirates 91,263,433 112,065,455 34,001,431 124,506,011 180,588,668
Saudi Arabia 11,282,672 8,053,683 7,485,277 8,011,953 11,925,040
Kuwait 633,036 676,303 414,410 1,113,087 1,316,442
Bahrain 398,165 226,862 110,531 82,591 100,693
Oman 130,641 154,030 233,742 144,333 61,096
Qatar 887,253 782,146 502,424 143,283
Total 104,595,200 121,958,479 42,747,815 134,001,258 193,991,939
Canada’s Pulse and Special Crops Exports to the GCC – 2010-2014 (Canada Dollars)
Description 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 % Share of Export % CAGR 2010-14
Source: Global Trade Atlas, 2014
Total Pulses and Special Crops 104,595,200 121,958,479 42,747,815 134,001,258 193,991,939 100 16.7
Dried lentils 82,191,381 97,531,053 28,721,478 104,846,055 152,713,348 78.7 16.8
Dried peas 9,594,507 16,424,779 9,558,486 19,647,391 32,111,361 16.6 35.3
Kidney beans 774,829 341,762 261,953 1,473,310 3,670,410 1.9 47.5
Sunflower seeds 5,869,475 1,821,245 392,326 2,640,233 2,670,617 1.4 −17.9
Canary Seeds 1,009,401 1,267,190 610,865 908,395 1,834,809 0.9 16.1
Dried beans 973,243 63,200 80,221 598,605 0.3 −11.4
Chickpeas 4,154,043 4,365,562 3,202,707 4,405,653 388,667 0.2 −44.7
Adzuki beans 4,122 0.0
Mustard seeds 28,321 143,688 0.0 −100.0
Canadian Exports of Pulses and Special Crops to the GCC – by Province 2010-2014 (Canada Dollars)
Province 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 % CAGR 2010-14
Source: Global Trade Atlas, 2014
All Provinces 104,595,200 121,958,479 42,747,815 134,001,258 193,991,939 16.7
Saskatchewan 94,705,697 116,410,005 35,889,419 128,375,966 185,806,211 18.4
Alberta 2,099,154 145,804 4,026,550 245,637 4,122,111 18.4
Manitoba 6,285,203 3,290,482 2,005,046 3,251,025 3,029,725 −16.7
Ontario 1,090,676 189,017 826,800 1,819,234 902,865 −4.6
Quebec 234,636 392,928 24,698 131,027 −13.6
British Columbia 179,834 1,530,243 284,698 −100.0

Opportunities

According to Euromonitor, the rising number of construction projects across the United Arab Emirates, in preparation for the Expo 2020 in Dubai, is bringing an influx of foreign workers into the country. This, in turn, is pushing demand for pulses, due to their wide availability, affordable prices, and regular inclusion in the majority of workers diets. Rising health awareness was another trend that continued in 2014, which had a positive impact on sales of pulses, as these are marketed as a healthy source of protein and are very versatile. Furthermore, the GCC region saw a fast-developing hospitality and grocery retail industry as a whole, which offers real opportunities for Canadian exporters. The hospitality sector, and in particular the ethnic restaurants, is experiencing growing demand for agricultural commodities and services. Canada’s reputation as a producer of high quality agricultural products gives exporters a competitive advantage, particularly in pulse and special crops. Major opportunities for growth in the GCC region for the pulse and special crops market include:
  • Traditional products (bulk exports) such as lentils, chickpeas and beans, mainly for the expanding food processing segment;
  • Processed pulse products that are mainly distributed through retail trading, but also through the hospitality industry (fast food outlets and hotels);
  • Highly processed products, prepared foods, and convenience foods; and
  • Pulses and special crops for animal feed.
In terms of consumer-ready pulse products, opportunities exist for the following products that are in demand in the GCC region:
  • Bagged pulses, including whole and split;
  • Ground pulses, such as pulse flours and specialty dough mixes (pappadums and rotis, for example);
  • Whole processed pulses, including canned, micronized, and toasted formats;
  • Products made with processed pulses such as dried soup mixes, packaged entrées, frozen entrées, snack mixes and canned items (soups, refried beans, curries, and chilies, for example);
  • Fractionated pulses, such as starches and proteins; and
  • Extruded pulses, used instead of pasta, and as meat substitutes.

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