Global Cinnamon Market: Production Gained 229K Tonnes

Other Food Products September 20, 2017
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

cinnamon market

Cinnamon production reached 229 thousand tonnes in 2016, with a positive dynamic being recorded over the last few years, except for a slight decline in 2010. According to market research conducted by IndexBox, from 2007 to 2016, cinnamon production grew at an annual average rate of growth of +2.1%.

Indonesia and China account for approx. three quarters of global cinnamon production. Indonesia was the key world cinnamon producing country with an output of about 91.6 thousand tonnes in 2016, which accounted for 40% of total global output. The other major producers were China (34%), Viet Nam (17%), Sri lanka (8%). All these countries are also major exporters of cinnamon: China and Indonesia export more than half of their own domestic cinnamon output. Despite the sizeable volume of cinnamon exports, both countries indicate significant volumes of domestic consumption (including processing), ensuring that both China and Indonesia remain dominant in terms of the key consuming countries.

Cinnamon is a widely traded commodity, with the share of export in total global output standing at approx. 67% over 2007-2016. The high trade intensity is determined mainly by the substantial distancies between the key consuming countries and the main centers of cinnamon production. In 2016, the volume of global exports totaled 154.0 thousand tonnes, with a mixed trend pattern being recorded over the last few years. A gradual increase over the period from 2013 to 2014 was followed by a slight decline in 2015; in 2016 it remained unchanged. In value terms, global exports showed steady growth over the last few years, at an average annual rate of growth of +10.6%. In 2016, global cinnamon exports expanded to $484.4 million.

In 2016, the U.S. (27.4 thousand tonnes) and India (25.7 thousand tonnes) were the leading destinations for cinnamon imports. They were followed by Bangladesh (8.2 thousand tonnes), Mexico (7.7 thousand tonnes), the Netherlands (5.2 thousand tonnes), the United Arab Emirates (4.6 thousand tonnes) and Saudi Arabia (4.4 thousand tonnes); together all these countries made up 55% of global imports in 2016. In terms of the major importing countries India (+8.4% per year) and Bangladesh (+8.0% per year) indicated the highest annual rates of growth from 2007 to 2016.

Cinnamon can be divided into 2 types: "cassia" (Cinnamomum aromaticum) and "true cinnamon" (Cinnamomum verum or Ceylon cinnamon). Ceylon cinnamon grows in Sri Lanka; it releases a more delicate aroma, and is the most valuable and expensive variety of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon derives originally from Southeast Asia, primarily from China, Viet Nam, and Indonesia. Cassia cinnamon is notable for its stronger and more intense flavour, due to its high concentration of cinnamaldehyde, up to 5-6% by weight.

The U.S. is one of the major global consumers of cinnamon; the country's consumption is buoyed fully by imports. In the U.S., cassia cinnamon from Indonesia accounts for the largest share of imports, at 57% (based on dollars), and cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Viet Nam, at 27% and 13%, respectively. Unlike the U.S. and Canada, Mexico has expressed a preference for the consumption of cinnamon from Ceylon: 96% of import supplies originate from Sri Lankan cinnamon.

This can be explained by the particularities of traditional Mexican cuisine, which has its origins in colonial times, when Ceylon cinnamon from Spain was brought into the country. Many traditional Mexican culinary dishes, therefore, are prepared using Ceylon cinnamon. However, the use of Ceylon cinnamon has been gaining ground in North America. Firstly, Ceylon cinnamon is healthier, as it contains a low coumarin threshold, unlike the cassia variety of cinnamon. In addition, Ceylon cinnamon is used to provide relief from a range of health issues, including diabetes and weight loss; this variety of cinnamon is considered suitable for daily use.

India has indicated a preference for the cheaper variety of cinnamon – cassia – mainly procuring it from Viet Nam (78% of imports). Import supplies from China assumed 9%, while Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka amounted to a mere 8% in Indian imports of the product. Due to the introduction of restrictions on the consumption of cassia cinnamon, as a result of its potential negative impact on health, the structure of imports may be subject to change in the immediate term, increasing the share of Ceylon cinnamon available on the market. The significant difference in price between the various varieties of cinnamon product, however, and the heavy reliance on imports, will result in the false replication and substitution of Ceylon cinnamon by the cassia variety.

In North America and Europe, cinnamon is a widely used product in the bakery industry; this sector is currently in the throes of negligible growth, due to public concern regarding a healthy balanced diet. In addition, the harmful substances present in cassia cinnamon may lead to cinnamon being replaced with other flavour additives in bakery products. Therefore, the growth of cinnamon consumption in developed countries will mainly be driven by the use of cinnamon as a key component ingredient in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, as well as through the increased consumption of those various national dishes which boast a cinnamon component.

Due to the fact that cassia cinnamon contains a significant amount of the blood-thinning phytochemical coumarin, it also can be used as a fragrance chemical for perfumes, and in fragranced soaps and detergents. Coumarin, however, is a dangerous chemical that can have a negative impact on human health. As a result, some countries are introducing restrictions on the consumption of cassia cinnamon: in 2016 in India, for example, the Food Safety and Standards Agency imposed a ban on retail and wholesale sales of cassia cinnamon. This is evident in the current fall in trade of this variety of cinnamon, which was predominantly the most popular category in the cinnamon imports.

Driven by global population growth, the popularity of spices, and the growth of pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, the cinnamon market as a whole is projected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next nine years. Market performance is forecast to grow with an anticipated CAGR of +2.0% for the nine-year period from 2016 to 2025, which is expected to lead the market volume to 267 million tonnes by the end of 2025.

Do you want to know more about the U.S. cinnamon market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • cinnamon market share
  • cinnamon prices
  • cinnamon industry
  • cinnamon sales
  • cinnamon market forecast
  • cinnamon price forecast
  • key cinnamon producers

Source: World: Cinnamon (Canella) - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast