Wheat Exports Surge, European & African Crises Keep YTD Exports Off Year Ago Pace

Posted on March 8, 2012

Wheat exports doubled to 432,800 metric tons during the week ending March 1, 2012. Despite the weekly surge, accumulated exports remain about 20 percent behind last years pace.

Wheat Exports YTD compared to previous year

Source: The Mays Report

Political & Economic conflict around the world has had a negative impact on wheat exports.  Exports to the European Union have tumbled 43 percent compared to the same period last year due to the european debt crises. With the Netherlands and UK being exceptions, most countries have imported substantially less wheat than in the previous year.

Year-on-year change in exports to EU27

Source: The Mays Report

Year over year exports to Africa are down by an even greater percentage than to Europe. Continuing political strife on the continent has limited exports to Egypt, Libya and Morocco. Exports to Egypt are 2.65 million metric tons or 91 percent lower while neither Libya or Morocco has exported a single metric ton in the current marketing year after shipping 104.9 & 282.8 thousand metric tons respectively,  over the same period a year ago.

YTD Wheat Exports to Africa

Source: The Mays Report

We hear so much about growing food demand and assume that it’s always constant. The above graphs illustrate just how political and economic events can delay or even cancel food purchases for long periods.

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