Challapata Market Update, 27.5.2014

Price Development: And once again, the direction in which the quinoa price is moving changes again. After the last weeks, in which we could observe a steady price increase that peaked at $5.80 for a kg of quinoa, many insiders expected the quinoa price to grow even more in the season 2014/2015. But last Saturday, prices dropped again to $5.14 (1,600 Bolivianos per 46kg bag). The mentioned prices concern only white quinoa since the black and red varieties remain stable in their prices of $4.02 and $4.82, respectively.

Since the end of March, prices have risen continuously from $4.30 to $5.80 in the local market in Challapata. International traders started worrying about the price increase because a local price of $6.00 translates into an export price of minimum $7.00 which then can mean a retail price of up to $22 (in European shops). It seems that this price cannot be sustained for long. So the price drop should be a relieve for traders.

The period of April and May is determining for the price setting since one can estimate about the supply with new harvest. According to our source in Bolivia, this year’s harvest is very successful.

Since the beginning of keeping record of the Challapata price, prices for white quinoa are higher (almost double for white in comparison to red) than the prices for black or red quinoa. Contrary to the usual observation that red and black quinoa are more exclusive and therefore more expensive, the strong (international) demand for white quinoa caused this opposing price increase. The same reason explains why the price of the coloured varieties seems to be more stable than the one of the white varieties.

The price peak of all quinoas (although much more observable in white quinoa) has been reached between the end of January and the beginning of February, when farmers were paid between $6.50 and $6.60 for a kilogram of quinoa. The publicity during the FAO’s International Year of the Quinoa and the increasing interest for super foods by the Western society have contributed to the increasing demand (and price) on the local quinoa market. Shortly before the beginning of the new season (in February and March), prices stabilized: black quinoa remained at $3.20, red quinoa between $3.30 – $3.50 and white quinoa between $4.20 – $4.80. >>Read more

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Producers in Challapata, Picture: Annika Gabriel 2013