Halal Industry

Middle East buys wheat as food security outweighs soaring prices

Published 04 Nov,2021 via Bloomberg Markets - 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.

The gains highlight how the region is paying up to ensure food security, even as wheat prices soar to multiyear highs. That will put additional pressure on those economies, although rising oil revenues could cushion the blow for some nations.

“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.

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 smaller crops again next season.

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Megan Durisin - Bloomberg