Global Wheat Trade Is Roaring This Year Even as Prices Soar
(Bloomberg) -- Even as wheat prices soar, some of the world’s top buyers are piling in.
Global trade of the staple grain will leap to a record this season, buoyed by an import frenzy in the Middle East, the United Nations said on Thursday. Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan are all loading up after drought hit their harvests earlier this year, draining local supplies. Egypt is also replenishing stockpiles, the agency said.
“It may be that we see repercussions on other commodities, but I don’t think we’d see curbs on imports of wheat,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, senior economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Pakistan, China and Bangladesh have also been huge buyers, putting the global sales pace over the past four months on an unprecedented clip, Paris-based consultant Agritel said in a note on Thursday. Surging prices should ration wheat use or bolster production, but it’s not clear that either has happened, it said.
“From wheat to bread, there is only a step,” said Sebastien Poncelet, Agritel’s director of development. “It is the staple food of a part of humanity that is under threat.”
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