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Global wheat trade explodes this year even as prices skyrocket

By on November 4, 2021 0

(Bloomberg) – Even as wheat prices skyrocket, some of the world’s top buyers are piling up.

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Global trade in basic grains will hit a record high this season, supported by an import spree in the Middle East, the United Nations said Thursday. Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan are all filling up after drought hit their crops earlier this year, draining local supplies. Egypt is also restoring its stocks, the agency said.

The gains highlight how the region is paying for food security, even as wheat prices hit multi-year highs. This will put additional pressure on these economies, although rising oil revenues may cushion the blow for some countries.

“We may see repercussions on other commodities, but I don’t think we would see restrictions on wheat imports,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the United Nations for the United Nations. food and agriculture.

Pakistan, China and Bangladesh have also been huge buyers, setting the pace of global sales over the past four months on an unprecedented clip, Paris consultant Agritel said in a note on Thursday. The surge in prices is expected to ration wheat use or boost production, but it is not clear whether either has happened, he said.

“From wheat to bread, there is only one step,” explains Sébastien Poncelet, Agritel development director. “It is the staple food of a part of humanity that is under threat.”

Iran has already become Russia’s top wheat customer this season, overtaking Egypt, according to consultant ProZerno. And parts of the Middle East are expecting weaker harvests again next season.

(Updates with Agritel comments in the fifth paragraph.)

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