Lentils exports by country totaled US$1.6 billion in 2018, tumbling by -21.1% for all lentils shippers over the five-year period starting in 2014. Year over year, the value of exported lentils dipped -34.7% from 2017 to 2018.
Lentils are used to cook many different dishes around the world. For example, lentil curry is an everyday staple eaten with both rice and roti throughout India. Lentils are often combined with rice due to its similar cooking time. In Europe as well as in North and South American countries, lentils are commonly also fortify nutritious soups and salads.
Among continents, North American countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported lentils during 2018 with shipments valued at $945.2 million or 57.5% of the overall total. In second place were exporters in Asia at 24.5% while 10.7% of worldwide lentils shipments originated from Oceania led by Australia, well ahead of Europe’s lentil suppliers at 6.3%. Much smaller percentages of exported lentils came from Africa (0.9%) trailed by Latin America (0.1%) excluding Mexico.
For research purposes, the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 071340 for dried and shelled lentils.
Top Lentils Exporters by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of lentils during 2018.
- Canada: US$791.8 million (48.2% of total exported lentils)
- Turkey: $194.2 million (11.8%)
- Australia: $175.8 million (10.7%)
- United Arab Emirates: $107 million (6.5%)
- United States: $86.1 million (5.2%)
- Mexico: $67.3 million (4.1%)
- Kazakhstan: $52.5 million (3.2%)
- Russia: $29.2 million (1.8%)
- Belgium: $14 million (0.8%)
- Egypt: $12.4 million (0.8%)
- India: $11.8 million (0.7%)
- France: $10.2 million (0.6%)
- China: $9.8 million (0.6%)
- Germany: $9.2 million (0.6%)
- Syria: $8.4 million (0.5%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 96.1% of all lentils exported in 2018.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing sellers of lentils on international markets since 2014 were: Mexico (up 8,213%), Kazakhstan (up 1,718%), Russia (up 434.3%) and Belgium (up 128.2%).
Those countries that posted declines in their sales of exported lentils were led by: United States (down -45.1%), Canada (down -40.2%), Syria (down -37.1%), Egypt (down -19.7%) and China (down -19.7%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for lentils during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported lentils and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Canada: US$780.1 million (net export surplus down -40.6% since 2014)
- Australia: $173.9 million (down -11.6%)
- Kazakhstan: $50.2 million (up 2,140%)
- Turkey: $37.3 million (reversing a -$9.1 million deficit)
- United States: $30.6 million (down -73.4%)
- Russia: $28.2 million (up 1,477%)
- United Arab Emirates: $3.8 million (reversing a -$62.3 million deficit)
- Ukraine: $2.1 million (reversing a -$335,000 deficit)
- China: $1.7 million (down -85.8%)
- Portugal: $900,000 (up 469.6%)
- Botswana: $321,000 (reversing a -$32,000 deficit)
- Moldova: $296,000 (reversing a -$73,000 deficit)
- Cameroon: $292,000 (reversing a -$259,000 deficit)
- Uganda: $188,000 (down -94.4%)
- Malawi: $167,000 (reversing a -$4,000 deficit)
Canada has the highest surplus in the international trade of lentils. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Canada’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for lentils during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported lentils purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- Bangladesh: -US$148.1 million (net export deficit down -23.9% since 2014)
- Iran: -$97 million (up 35.4%)
- India: -$78.9 million (down -83.3%)
- Egypt: -$73.3 million (down -3%)
- Venezuela: -$71.5 million (up 338%)
- Sri Lanka: -$68.9 million (down -30.7%)
- Sudan: -$53.6 million (down -23.7%)
- Pakistan: -$50.3 million (down -37.4%)
- Colombia: -$45.4 million (down -6%)
- Algeria: -$41.8 million (down -14.7%)
- Iraq: -$37.1 million (up 2,910%)
- Spain: -$35.9 million (up 4.8%)
- Morocco: -$34 million (up 646.9%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$33.6 million (down -20.9%)
- Peru: -$33.1 million (up 12.9%)
Highly populated Bangladesh incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of lentils. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Bangladesh’s competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for lentils-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful consumer demand.
Canada in the Lentils Business
As a global marketplace supplier for lentils, Canada is the indisputable leader. Presented below are selected members of the Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA) engaged in the growing, export, merchandising or brokerage of lentils in their whole, split or fraction forms.
For each business entity listed, its headquarter city and corresponding Canadian province is shown within parenthesis.
- Agrocorp Processing Ltd. (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan)
- Bonduelle Groupe (Ingersoll, Ontario)
- BroadGrain Commodities Inc. (Toronto, Ontario)
- Canpulse Foods Ltd. (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
- Cargill Limited (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
- ILTA Grain (Surrey, British Columbia)
- Marina Commodities Inc. (Mississauga, Ontario)
- Scoular Canada Ltd. (Calgary, Alberta)
- Terfloth (Montreal, Quebec)
- Viterra Inc. (Regina, Saskatchewan)
See also Rice Exports by Country, Wheat Exports by Country, Corn Exports by Country and Barley Exports by Country
Canadian Special Crops Association, Members & Partners including suppliers or service providers for lentils. Accessed on September 24, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 24, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 24, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on September 24, 2019
Wikipedia, Lentil. Accessed on September 24, 2019