China will become the world’s biggest wheat importer by the end of June. It will follow Egypt and Türkiye — Forbes

Wheat will be added to the list of commodities dominated by Chinese buyers. The country is already the world’s largest importer of corn and soybeans. And in this business year, namely until the end of June, it is ready to overtake Egypt and Turkey and become the largest buyer of wheat. The main supplier of wheat to China is Australia. This follows from a Bloomberg report based on official Chinese and American data.

In the eleven months of the trading year that started last July, China’s purchases totaled twelve million tonnes. More than half of these shipments come from Australia. Since October, imports of this staple food commodity have soared to over one million tons per month. In April, it increased to a record 1.68 million tonnes.

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that China will import an additional twelve million tons of wheat in the 2023-2024 marketing year, as damage has made most of the last crop suitable only for animal feed. Heavy rains in China’s biggest growing region, Henan, have affected quality and driven up prices of the protein-rich grain, which is used to make bread and noodles. That should benefit grain growers and shippers around the world, but it could hurt demand for other compound feeds as more grain begins to go to livestock.

Analysts warn that domestic grain is expensive and stockpiles are falling, leaving imports in high demand. Buying should remain high if prices remain profitable and buyers need to replenish stocks, added an analyst at consultancy Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. Rosa Wang.

Roderick Glisson

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