Vanilla Market - Madagascar: Vanilla Farming Ensures Global Market Leadership and Local Employment

Spices, Aromatic, Drug And Pharmaceutical Crops January 27, 2016
Author: Inara Tsenina
Account Manager

vanilla market

Although widely considered a standard commodity, vanilla requires highly labor-intensive methods of cultivation that make it the second most expensive spice in the world, surpassed only by saffron.

Vulnerable to disease and natural disasters, vanilla thrives in a warm tropical climate, and is cultivated in such countries as Madagascar, Mexico, Indonesia and China. Strict climatic requirements coupled with frailty of the spice make the global vanilla market one of the most volatile ones.

Madagascar is famous for its superb quality vanilla, so no wonder it leads the way in global vanilla production. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) pointed out that most vanilla production is concentrated in the north-east of the island, where the spice secures livelihood of approximately 70% of the population. However, local farmers have lately experienced a competitive pressure from the Asian markets and synthetically produced substitutes.

In 2014, the U.S. (22%), France (15%), Germany (10%) and Canada (7%) were the leading destinations of imports on the global vanilla market, together making up 54% of global imports. The share of Belgium increased (+3 percentage points), while the share of the UK illustrated negative dynamics (-11 percentage points). The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In 2014, Madagascar and the Netherlands were the main global suppliers of vanilla with a combined share of 52% of global exports. The fastest growing supplier from 2007 to 2014 was the Netherlands (+81.2% per year). Despite being the largest global producer of vanilla, Indonesia did not export much of its production, meaning that it was either domestically consumed, or put in storage. The Netherlands remarkably strengthened its position in the global import structure, from 1% in 2007 to 21% in 2014.

Madagascar dominated in global vanilla production and trade. In 2014, Madagascar exported 77% of its total vanilla output. Of this amount, 37% was supplied to France, where vanilla held an 83% share of total France's imports.

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Source: World: Vanilla - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2020