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Market analysis of caraway seed

This paper investigates the current state of the international and Australian caraway market and explores the market opportunities for Australian caraway producers. It provides a baseline assessment of the global industry, using the limited information currently available, and identifies areas for further research. The report is based on the data and literature available through secondary sources including the databases of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Trade Organization(WTO), United Nations International Trade Statistics Database (UN ComTrade) and the World Bank. The market data available for caraway is limited and is often presented in a larger group of spices including juniper, anise, badian and fennel as a whole seed (not ground or crushed). It is not possible to separate the individual spices from this grouped data so in these instances the overarching trends have been assessed. Caraway (Carum carvi L.) is a small herb belonging to the Apiaceae family and is a biennial crop (Malhotra, 2012). Caraway fruit, which is known as caraway seed, are oblong with five pale ridges, brown in colour and about 3-6 mm long (Malhotra, 2012). The dried fruits of caraway are commonly used as a spice in baking and cooking, are believed to hold medicinal properties, and the essential oil of caraway is used in different types of liqueurs for flavouring (Shelef, 2003). Caraway is cultivated in many parts of the world, with Finland and Canada the largest exporting countries with the leading market destinations being India, Germany and the US. Significant price variations exist in international markets, depending on the crop’s origin, with the average price of Canadian spices over US$1,750/tonne, whereas the price of Indian caraway was only US$1,266/tonne (ITC, 2019, UN ComTrade, 2019). Price variation could also be due to cost of production in the source country. Australia’s domestic market for caraway and other similar spices is entirely supplied through imports. In 2018, Australia imported about 568 tonne of the caraway spice group (juniper, anise, badian, caraway, fennel), worth about US$1.37million. About 70% of imported spices in Australia were sourced from India and China (UN Com Trade, 2019). In 2018 Australia’s import price for the group of spices was US$2,408/tonne. Given the unit value and the size of the market, it is likely that it would be favourable for local industry in Australia to initially target the domestic market before scaling up for international markets.


Category 4 - CRC Research Income


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Central Queensland University

Place of Publication


Open Access

  • Yes

Author Research Institute

  • Institute for Future Farming Systems

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Parent Title

A.2.1819045 - Spicing up Northern Australia with high-value condiment crops