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World Edible Bean Production Increased About 3% in 2005
March 29, 2006

John Parker

Total world production of edible beans increased about 3% according to recent tabulations provided by FAO and recent revisions from specified countries.

So says John Parker, an international dry bean market analyst from Oakton, Va., and a former USDA analyst, who presented an overview of the global dry bean market at Bean Day 2006.

Parker says
U.S. edible bean production increased from 807,000 tons in 2004 to about 1.24 million tons in 2005, a rise of 53%.  The United States, Canada, and Italy had the greatest gains for bean production in 2005.  Gains in the U.S. and Canada were mostly because of an increase in area and the rebound from a reduced harvest because of adverse weather in 2004.  Canadas production increased about 41% to a range of 300,000 tons.

An increase to 23.5 million tons for world output of edible beans in 2005 still left the quantity slightly below production of 23.6 million tons in 2002.  Parker points out that the slight increase in overall global supply couldnt be characterized as burdensome, and may help provide some price support compared to prevailing prices in
North Dakota in recent months, especially if North American weather/production problems would arise.

Following is Parkers profile of key dry bean importers and exporters in the global marketplace.

China Leading World Producer Of Edible Beans

Chinas production of edible beans increased about 3% to nearly 4 million tons in 2005.  The main type of beans exported from China is classified as kidney beans.  This includes the classes of beans similar to the major types of beans produced in North America. Kidney beans account for nearly half of Chinas reported output of dry beans, and about two-thirds of bean exports.  China was the second major world bean exporter during 2002-05, when shipments averaged about 900,000 tons annually.  China produces about 2 million tons of broad beans, including lima beans and certain larger type of beans.

Brazil Ranks Second Among Major World Producers of Edible Beans

Edible bean production in Brazil increased about 3.7% in 2005 to approximately 3.09 million tons. Brazil produces many types of beans, and black beans are an important part of the diet. Brazil was a larger importer of beans in the 1990s before their domestic crop rose to a higher level.

Indias Bean Production Includes Many Types Not Important in North America

Output of edible beans in India increased about 3.7% in 2005 to about 3.09 million tons.  India has substantial production of black mapte, mung, and haricot beans. India is the leading world importer of edible beans, mostly coming from Burma and Australia.

Myanmar (Burma) Ranks Fourth In World Bean Production and First In Exports

Beans have been a major cash crop for farmers in Myanmar (Burma, located just south of China) in recent years. Production of edible beans in Burma increased slightly in 2005 to about 1.56 million tons. Burmas bean exports were in the range of 1 million tons annually during 2002-05.  India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia are major markets for Burmas bean exports. Burma has a special market for lima beans in Japan.

Mexicos Harvest Declined In 2005

Adverse weather reduced Mexicos yields in 2005 and the harvest declined something in the range of a fifth from the 2004 level.  The reduction from an average of about 1.43 million tons for Mexicos bean production annually during 2002-04, to approximately 1.1 million tons in 2005, tended to change the market setting, resulting in prices for beans in Mexico increasing in 2005.

Argentine Crop Rebounds

Argentinas edible bean production fell by half between 2002 and 2004 to a low of 150,000 tons, mostly because of a steep reduction for exports to Brazil. Argentine bean production rebounded about a fourth in 2005 to a range of 187,000 tons. White Alubia beans from Argentina are a favorite for some consumers in Europe, especially in countries bordering the Mediterranean.

French Production Shows Upward Trend

Output of edible beans in France advanced from 380,000 tons in 2003 to about 480,000 tons in 2005. Most of the increase was in the broad bean category. Use of machinery of cultivation of certain varieties of large beans contributed to the upward trend.  France is a significant market for U.S. Great Northern beans.

Sharp Increase in Italian Production

Italy had an increase of about 57% for edible bean production in 2005 to about 110,000 tons. Beans can fit into multiple cropping rotations on irrigated land in Italy. Over half of the beans consumed in Italy are imported.

Ethiopias Bean Yield Fluctuations Important

Ethiopias edible bean production declined 13% in 2003, and imports rose to a peak of about 32,000 tons in 2004.  Imports tend to occur after adverse weather has seriously reduced yields, and reductions in the pipeline have occurred. U.S. exports of beans to Ethiopia through food aid reached 15,000 tons in 2004, but no repeat orders came in 2005. Ethiopias bean harvest rebounded to about 610,000 tons in 2004 and remained near that level for 2005.

Egypts Edible Bean Production Remains Steady

Output of edible beans in Egypt averaged about 450,000 tons annually during 2002-05. Fava beans produced in Egypt are used to prepare a type of mash used with bread. Extensive research has helped Egypt to obtain very high yields for beans cultivated on irrigated land.  Most of the 300,000 tons of edible beans imported by Egypt come from Australia and China.

Australias Bean Yields Fluctuate Depending On Weather

Australian farmers have large fields where beans are cultivated and harvested with machinery. Drought sometimes reduces yields. Australias edible bean harvest increased to 78,000 tons in 2002 and a peak of about 880,000 tons in 2004, before dropping back to about 75,000 tons in 2005. It is ironic that Australias edible bean production and exports were greater than those of the United States in 2004.

Kenyas Bean Production Was Higher In The Past

Kenyas bean production declined from about 480,792 tons in 2002 to a low of 277,501 tons in 2004, before rebounding a tenth to about 31,000 tons in 2005.  Larger imports are needed to allow a return to higher levels for per capita bean consumption in Kenya.  Smaller imports of beans from Uganda added to the need for more beans from North America in the last several years.

Ugandas Bean Production Was Steady In 2005

A reduction of about 11% for Ugandas 2003 bean crop to 480,000 tons left shortages in this market, and U.S. food aid shipments to Uganda reached a peak of 10,000 tons in 2004. A return of favorable weather contributed to a more normal crop of 550,000 tons in 2004 and a slightly larger crop in 2005.

North Korea Needs More Beans

Edible beans are an important source of protein for many families in North Korea.  Bean production was in the range of 300,000 tons annually during 2002-04. Food aid shipments of U.S. beans to North Korea reached 4,487 tons in 2004 and were about half that level in 2005. China has been the major source for bean imports into North Korea in the recent decade.

Rwanda And Burundi Have High Per Capita Bean Consumption

Per capita consumption of edible beans is among the highest in the world in Rwanda. A shift by some food aid agencies to dry peas for distribution in Rwanda caused a slight decline in consumption in the last several years. Edible bean production in Rwanda fell from 250,000 tons in 2002 to about 200,000 tons in 2005.

urundi s bean production fell from 248,914 tons in 2001 to 220,218 tons in 2004 and remained steady in 2005. Burundi has been a customer for imported beans provided by food aid agencies. High prices led to a shift from large bean imports in 2005 to greater dry pea imports.

Indonesias Edible Bean Output Higher in the Past

Black mapte and mung beans grow well in the moist climate of Indonesia. Bean production in Indonesia fell from a peak of 340,000 tons in 2002 to 310,000 tons by 2005. Indonesia is a large importer of beans from China, Australia, and Burma.

Bean Production in Belarus Enhanced By Mechanized Agriculture

Belarus has a large tractor factory where the models carry the same name as the country. Edible bean production in Belarus increased to a peak of 316,000 tons in 2004, before retreating a fourth in 2005. If farmers have a large crop of beans, demand from manufacturers of animal feed is usually strong.


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