Hemp acreage in North America and the European Union countries reached record levels in 2017, nearly 180,000 acres and about 90,000 acres respectively, which could put global acreage at more than 330,000 acres. North America is expected to grow with a CAGR of 16.9% from 2018 to 2025 due to increasing CBD oil- and fiber-based products, primarily used in food and beverages, textile, and personal care sectors.
Asia Pacific market is expected to register a CAGR of 15.9% from 2018 to 2025 mainly because of growing fiber consumption. Major supplier countries list includes China, India, Australia, and South Korea.
The Central and South America market is driven by growth in consumption of oil for pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries.
The global hemp industry is projected to reach $5.7 billion in 2020.
European Hemp Market
The EU has an active hemp market, with production in most member nations. Production is centered in France, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Romania. France is the main producer of hemp, accounting for almost 50% of Europe’s total production. Baltic area has rapidly emerged to become the region’s second biggest hemp grower.
Many EU countries lifted their bans on hemp production in the 1990s and, until recently, also subsidized the production of “flax and hemp” under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Most EU production is of hurds, seeds, fibers, and pharmaceuticals. Europe, particularly France and Finland, have a long history using hemp for fibres, construction material and textiles, though in the last 25 years this sector has come into bloom, increasing production by upwards of 500% (that’s 250% in 8 years).
The demand for hemp has been fueled by the increasingly diverse use of this cash crop. In 2017, European cultivation grew by 36% from 2015 and European countries produced hemp on more than 90,000 acres – a record high and accounting for about 40% of FAO-reported global acreage. This marks significant growth since 2011 when there was a total of 8,000 hectares used for hemp cultivation.
The EU has subsidized the European hemp market over the last 20 years as part of green policy initiatives. However, with greater demand and stronger prices being recorded, the European market is beginning to move towards a free market model.
European CBD Market
Hemp is also an excellent source of CBD, which can be extracted for use in an array of food supplements, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Although the legal cannabis market in Europe is targeted strictly towards medical consumers, the consumption of hemp-derived CBD infused products for recreational purposes is legally permitted across much of the continent.
According to the Orian Research Group, the current market size for CBD in Europe is about €450 million representing 31% of the global CBD oil market share, second only to North America with a market share of 40%.
Within Europe, select countries have a more profound impact on the CBD market. For instance, Switzerland legally permits the sale, possession, and consumption of both legal and recreational CBD with a THC content as high as 1.0 %. Furthermore, CBD products are available for purchase in tobacco shops. As a result, the softening of THC limitations and ease of consumer access makes Switzerland one of the biggest European players within the CBD market.
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