Sub-Saharan Africa Drives Growth in Global Wheat Imports
11.04.2018 13:35 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) —
According to the report of the USDA «Grain:World Markets and Trade» (April 2018), global wheat trade is forecast at a record for 2017/18, with Sub-Saharan Africa projected to have the strongest year-over-year import growth of any region. In fact, over the last decade as a whole, Sub-Saharan Africa has been a major driver of rising global wheat trade. Stagnant production and rapid consumption growth have been the main motivators of rising import demand in the region. Consumption is escalating on long-term trends of urbanization, rising incomes, and population growth.
This year specifically, record global production and relatively low prices have further catalyzed import demand in Sub-Saharan Africa. Russia is an increasingly important supplier for the region as many of these markets are primarily focused on obtaining low-priced supplies. In light of Russia’s record crop and large exportable surplus, Sub-Saharan Africa’s demand growth has provided an outlet to absorb some of those excess supplies.
After Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the next largest projected growth in imports this year is the Middle East. There, higher imports are offsetting Iraq’s lower crop quality and Turkey’s diminished stocks. In contrast, the largest forecast reduction from 2016/17 is for South Asia on account of sharply lower imports for India due to its ample 2017 harvest. Also down from the
previous year are imports for North Africa (larger crops for Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) and South America (reduced demand in Brazil).