Linseed oil is colorless or yellowish vegetable oil, which is obtained from dried flax seeds.
It is currently classified as a super product that provides the body with one of three macronutrients. This oil is the richest vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). World trade in linseed oil and demand for linseed oil increased in the late 1990s due to expansion of the market for environmentally friendly and healthy products. Linseed oil is used both for the food industry and as an ingredient in paints, varnishes, and many other industrial products. Linseed oil for industrial purposes is obtained by pressing. The seeds are boiled and then passed through solvents. Unrefined linseed oil for the first cold spin obtained with help of cold pressing. It retains all the nutrients.
The crushing industry is closely linked with flax processing and the production of linseed oil (and linseed cake as a by-product). According to FEDIOL statistics, the total volume of flaxseed crushing in the European Union in 2017 was 667 thousand tons. Most of the crushing is done in such countries as Belgium (56% of the total crushing volume in the EU) and Germany (23%). As for the supply of flaxseed and linseed oil, EU import data do not distinguish between seeds that are imported for oil production or other final purposes, or between different qualities or varieties. Belgium is the largest importer of flaxseed in Europe. It is followed by Germany. Poland and the Netherlands are also significant importers of flaxseed in the EU. In Holland,the import of flaxseed has increased on average by 15% per year (+ 13% in value terms) since 2013. Imports in Poland increased sharply on average by 43% in volume and + 32% in value over the same period. The largest suppliers of this product to Europe are Russia, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and Canada. Ukraine is also a major supplier in the international oil market. The main importers of this product are China, Egypt, India, Turkey, and EU countries. Over the past few years, supplies of Ukrainian linseed oil have tripled.
Linseed oil suppliers to EU - Requirements for deliveries
The English language is used to track batches of linseed products in the EU and for product labeling.
It must include the following data:
- Product's name and class;
- Whether the product is intended for human consumption;
- Manufacturer's number or batch code;
- Exporter's name and address;
- Country of origin;
- Expiration date;
- Net weight/volume in metric units;
- Recommended storage conditions;
- Certification body name/code and certification number.
Exporters of flaxseed pack the goods as bulk cargo. It is placed in special bags. In the case of transportation of flaxseed for food preparation, it is transported in containers.
Requirements to the exporter:
- Thoroughly clean the holds or containers before loading the seeds;
- Protect the cargo from moisture during loading;
- Limit contact of seeds with metal components to prevent flax seed from burnout;
- A peculiarity of the delivery process is also that the products must be provided with the appropriate temperature, humidity, and ventilation conditions during transportation. Flaxseed causes toxic CO2 levels in unventilated transport. Flaxseed is easy to oxidize and should, therefore, be stored out of the sun and heat zone;
- Protect the cargo from pests.
What documents are necessary to export linseed oil?
- Contract with the importer for foreign trade;
- Invoices for purchase of raw materials;
- Documents of purchase and sale;
- Seller's invoice;
- Phytosanitary certificates;
- Certificate of the country of origin;
- Transport waybills;
- Customs declaration.
The trend of linseed oil import
The technology of linseed oil is currently very advanced. According to forecasts, the world market for linseed oil in the next five years will increase by about 2.6% and reach 2,140 million dollars in 2024, compared to 1,830 million dollars in 2019. In Europe, the demand for both flaxseed and linseed oil is increasing. Thus, the European import of flaxseed from 2013 is increasing by an average of 5.4% per year. In 2017, the import of flaxseed to Europe was 927 thousand tons (412 million euros). Over the past five years, the annual increase in the value of this product was only + 0.1% due to a strong decline in prices in recent years.