Chia Price Falls 39%

The fall in international prices and overproduction is negatively impacting sales of the seed harvested in Nicaragua.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In the U.S. market a quintal of chia is trading at $170 whereas it previously traded for $280. During the 2013-2014 cycle Nicaraguan growers harvested about 180,000 quintals, however, much of this crop had no advance purchase contracts and contractual undertakings from exporters are full.

"Ramses Ortega, Director of the CAC-Trading company, insisted it was a "sin" in agriculture ... to sow without having an assured market, 'Chia is not easily sold if you do not have an assured a contract (...) If the producer does not have a contract they should not produce,' he said."

"He also said that chia is a grain which has a high demand in other countries such as Canada and the United States, and other countries in Europe and Asia, and dismissed the idea that producers will be left with their produce forever, 'what the producers (who are outside of the initial contracts) have to do is wait for exporters to finish meeting their commitments, and be ready for when they rehire' recommended Ortega."

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More on this topic

Rise and Fall of Chia in Nicaragua

November 2015

The promising future and the high prices predicted in 2012 for the production and export of the seed have failed to materialize, and the amount of land cultivated continues to shrink.

Global overproduction of chia seeds that started in 2013 when international prices started to rise and a lot of people identified a business opportunity in production and marketing, was one of the main factors explaining the drop in price and the resulting disincentive for this business.

Guatemala: Cardamom in Crisis

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Overproduction along with the thrips pest, which has affected 35% of production, are putting downward pressure on the price of the seed.

On top of the negative effect of the pest on crops, is the lack of implementation of good practices by smallholders and soil problems arising from, among other factors, deforestation.

Chia Cultivation in Nicaragua

March 2014

Work is being done on producing better chia seeds in the country in order to meet the demands of international buyers.

Despite being one of the fastest growing crops in Nicaragua, the current shortage of chia seeds could hinder production. For this reason, the Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua (APEN) is working on the production of a new seed that meets the demands of international buyers.

Nicaragua: Investment for Processing Chia Seeds

June 2013

With an investment of $9 million a new plant will be installed to process the seed that has become fashionable among investors and small producers.

The production of chia in Nicaragua has taken a new turn, as the company Acustica (CAC Trading) (dedicated to the purchase and sale of grain or commodities at regional level) will install a processing plant for the seed, which will involve an investment of $9 million and will be opened in Jinotega in 2014.

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