Field peas.
Field peas.

Whole yellow pea continues to find significant end-application in direct consumption, animal feed ingredients and starch, and the demand for dry pea protein concentrate is skyrocketing in China, North America and Western Europe. Canada. and the United States are currently the top producers and major global exporters of whole yellow pea.

However, the recent spurt in demand for plant protein in the United States, Western Europe and China will alter the global production and trade flow of whole yellow pea, according to a recent analysis.

The analysis from the Frost & Sullivan organization, “Whole Yellow Peas and Pea Protein Ingredients: A Close Supply and Value Chain Relationship” (http://www.frost.com/nf42), finds that the global production in 2014 amounted to 9 million metric tons, valued at $3.05 billion. The same year, the value-added dry pea protein market was worth $29.9 million and its sales touched 20.7 thousand metric tons. Complimentary access to more information on this research is at http://bit.ly/1CsA8mC.

The year to year production of whole yellow peas can vary greatly based on the weather, planting times, supply, demand, forecast price and performance of other commodity products. Its production growth rates have been largely stable at commodity levels of 2 percent to 4 percent. In contrast, the revenues of dry pea protein ingredients are expected to grow at around 10 percent annually.

“While the soaring demand for pea protein ingredients could threaten the producers of whole yellow peas, it could also present them with several opportunities,” said Frost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials & Food Research analyst Reuben Sequeira.

The emergence of pea protein as a value-added product from a traditionally direct consumption market will considerably enhance the growth prospects of pea processors and food manufacturers in North America and China. They will have to find the adequate balance between operating in this market and catering to the direct consumption or pea flour and starch markets.

From a global standpoint, both whole yellow pea processing and pea protein ingredient manufacturing have large markets in the United States, China, India, Ukraine, Russia and Canada. While the United States is a top-rung producer and exporter of yellow peas, China is a major importer of yellow peas, and like the United States, is experiencing high growth in the demand for pea proteins.

“Once companies acknowledge the swelling demand for clean pea protein, companies in China and the United States will be in a race to set up processing plants to serve consumers close to home,” observed Sequeira. “It is also likely to affect the production and import-export balances of these two countries.”