Wheat Import Projections Towards Chad Weigand Market Analyst

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1 Wheat Import Projections Towards 2050 Chad Weigand Market Analyst January 2011

2 Wheat Import Projections Towards 2050 Analysis Prepared by Chad Weigand, Market Analyst January 2011 Purpose The United Nations forecasts world population to grow by 32 percent in the next 40 years, reaching approximately 9.1 billion in the year With such a great increase in global population comes the challenge of meeting global food demand. Global wheat demand in 2010 reached an estimated 666 million metric tons (). If the demand growth rate were to remain constant, global wheat consumption would surpass 880 by International trade will be an essential part in meeting such an increase in consumption. The Food and Agriculture Organization s report World Agriculture: Towards 2030/2050 states that, Further population increases will come in several countries with inadequate food consumption levels, pressuring for further increases of food supplies. The purpose of this study is to examine the potential growth in trade towards 2050 by forecasting demand in various countries and regions where population growth will significantly strain food supplies. The countries and regions selected for this study include North Africa, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, India, and China. Based on the population projections and wheat production and consumption growth rates used, the study found that wheat imports will more than double for these countries and regions by 2050, from 68 to 153. Specific findings include: North African wheat imports will climb from 22.3 in 2010 to 51.4 in 2050 despite a negative wheat consumption per capita growth rate. The Middle East s imports will double from the region s minor wheat producers, from 14.4 to With both the highest population growth rate and wheat consumption per capita growth rate, Sub-Saharan Africa s wheat imports will increase by 23.1 by Indonesia s 2050 wheat imports will climb by 30 percent from 2010 imports, to 7.1. The Philippines domestic demand for wheat will grow by over 60 percent, leading to imports of 4.5 in Brazilian wheat imports will climb from 6.5 in 2010 to 10.5 in 2050 in order to fulfill domestic demand. 1

3 Mexico s wheat production will grow only slightly, but a negative population growth rate past 2044 will keep wheat imports relatively steady through India will to turn from self-sufficient wheat producer to net importer of China s wheat imports will grow steadily between 2019 and 2040, but a negative population growth rate beyond 2040 will lead to declining wheat imports. Data Sources The primary resource for this study is the United Nation s Food and Agriculture Organization s (FAO) report World Agriculture: Towards 2030/50. Data from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute s (FAPRI) U.S. and World Agricultural Outlook and the FAO s and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development s (OECD) joint study, OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook , was also used, however, data was not available from these sources for all countries and regions examined. FAPRI and OECD data was used in calculating projections for Brazil, China, India, and Mexico. For population growth estimates, the United Nations Population Division s medium variant for population projections to 2050 was utilized. This data was taken from the FAO s statistical database, FAOSTAT. Individual Country and Region Assessments North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) At approximately 216 kilos, the North Africa region has the highest wheat consumption per capita rate in the world. Wheat consumption per capita has climbed nearly 20 percent in the past decade and by nearly 30 percent since With growing demand, imports have also climbed steadily, growing at an average three percent per year since In 2010, the North Africa region imported an estimated 22.3, the second highest total on record following imports of 23.5 in The region contains the world s largest wheat importer in Egypt, which alone imported an estimated 9.8 of wheat in 2010, 26 percent above their 10-year average. The North African countries produced an estimated 17.6 of wheat in 2010, which was the third largest crop on record for the region. The largest producer in the region was Egypt, which produced a record 8.6. However, given Egypt s large consumption rate, the country was only capable of meeting approximately half of its demand with domestic production. Morocco is a modest wheat producer, producing an average of 4.6 over the past five years. Moroccan production currently accounts for roughly 60 percent of domestic demand. Algeria and Tunisia are both more dependent on imports, with domestic production meeting approximately 28 percent of demand for both countries. Libya is almost entirely dependent on wheat imports due to its large consumption per capita of nearly 190 kilos. Libya produces an average of 125 thousand metric tons while consuming nearly 1.9 annually. 2

4 Given North Africa s very high wheat consumption, the FAO expects the region to have a negative growth rate in consumption per capita towards The current projected growth rate for cereal consumption in the region is -8 percent to 2030 and percent beyond This projection leaves wheat consumption at a still very robust 206 kilos per person in The FAO s cereal growth production rate for the region is 1.9 percent to 2030, and 1.0 percent from 2030 to 2050, placing wheat production at 31.2 in Despite its negative consumption per capita growth rate and increased production, North Africa will become increasingly dependent on wheat imports to fulfill domestic demand because of its large population growth rate. The UN projects North Africa s population to reach 245 million in 2050, a 44 percent increase from its current population of 170 million. This will cause wheat imports to more than double from 2010 values, to a projected 51.4 in North Africa Wheat Situation Population: 92 million 170 million 245 million Middle East (Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen) The Middle East region contains two large wheat producers in Turkey and Iran, but aside from these countries, production is limited. The entire region produced 38.1 in 2010, accounting for 70 percent of total consumption. However, Turkey and Iran accounted for over 80 percent of the region s production, while the rest of the region produced only 6.7, meeting only 30 percent of total demand. At approximately 175 kilos in 2010, the Middle East trails only North Africa for the highest consumption per capita rate in the world. Wheat consumption per capita has slowly been declining since reaching a peak in 1996 at 191 kilos. However, 3

5 consumption per capita has been growing for the region s minor wheat producers, from approximately 125 kilos a decade ago to 140 kilos in Imports by the Middle East, including Turkey and Iran, have grown steadily over the past decade, by 13 percent since However, imports by the region s minor wheat producers have grown much more rapidly. Excluding Turkish and Iranian imports, the Middle East s wheat imports reached 14.4 in 2010, a 54 percent increase from 2001 and 34 percent above the 10-year average. The Middle East s minor wheat-producing countries relied on imports to meet 40 percent of total demand in By 2010, that number grew to 70 percent. The Middle East s population is expected to reach 437 million by 2050, a 54 percent increase from 284 million in However, the fastest population growth will come in the region s minor wheat-producing countries. The UN expects the population in these countries to grow by 82 percent, reaching 243 million in 2050, compared to 133 million in Given these countries limited ability to produce wheat, imports will have to increase substantially to meet demand. Consumption per capita for these countries is expected to reach 155 kilos by 2050, while production is only expected to reach As a result, imports will have to reach 29.5 in 2050 in order to fulfill domestic demand of Middle East* Wheat Situation Population: 53 million 133 million 243 million Sub-Saharan Africa *Excludes Turkey and Iran 4

6 With the region s high population growth rates and low food consumption per capita levels, food insecurity is a constant threat in Sub-Saharan Africa. Wheat consumption per capita for the region was 22.0 kilos in 2010, but falls below 2 kilos if South Africa, the region s only significant wheat producer, is excluded. South Africa produced 1.6 in 2010, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the 5.9 produced in the region. Sub-Sahara Africa was dependent on imports to fulfill 70 percent of the region s total consumption of Imports reached 14.3 in 2010, climbing by over 60 percent in the past decade. The region s population currently stands at approximately 820 million and could potentially more than double by 2050, to 1.68 billion. The FAO stated that by 2050, 18 million of the 26 million added annually to world population will be in Sub-Saharan Africa. The region s wheat consumption per capita growth rate is also very high; in fact, it is the highest for any region. The FAO estimates that cereal consumption per capita will grow by 0.5 percent per year through At this rate, wheat consumption per capita will surpass 25 kilos. Production growth rates are also high in Sub-Saharan Africa, but given the region s current level of production, wheat output will only reach 13.8 in Excluding South Africa s production, Sub-Saharan Arica will only produce 9.2 in This will only account for approximately 20 percent of demand, meaning Sub-Saharan Africa will have to import 35.4 to fulfill domestic consumption. 5 Sub Saharan Africa* Wheat Situation Population: 333 million 757 million 1,598 million *Excludes South Africa Indonesia With a population of 233 million in 2010, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. The country s population has grown steadily over the past 30 years with the annual 5

7 growth rate averaging 1.5 percent. Population is expected to continue growing over the next 40 years by 24 percent, placing Indonesia s population at 288 million in Having never produced wheat, Indonesia is dependent entirely on imports to fulfill demand. Consumption per capita has grown substantially in the country since 1980 when consumption was approximately 8.1 kilos per person. In 2010, consumption per capita reached an estimated record of 21.2 kilos. Consumption per capita is expected to continue growing, potentially reaching 22.4 kilos by Indonesia is the largest wheat importer in the South Asia region. Indonesia s wheat imports grew by 35 percent in the past decade, reaching 5.5 in This was the second largest total in history, behind 5.6 in 2006, and 15 percent above their 10-year average. Moving towards 2050, given the combination of a growing population and the inability to produce wheat, Indonesia s imports will certainly increase. With a growing consumption per capita, imports will have to increase at a faster rate than its population growth. By 2050, imports could potentially reach 7.1, a 34 percent increase from Indonesia Wheat Situation Population: 147 million 233 milion 288 million The Philippines Similar to Indonesia, the Philippines does not produce wheat and is dependent entirely on imports to meet domestic wheat demand. Wheat consumption per capita stood at approximately 26.6 kilos in This represents a 64 percent increase in consumption per capita from 30 years ago. During that same period, wheat imports climbed from 0.9 in 1980 to 2.8 in

8 The United Nations Population Division anticipates the Philippines population to reach 146 million by 2050, representing a 56 percent increase from With an average population growth rate of 1.1 percent per year over the next 40 years, wheat imports will continue to increase through FAO estimates annual cereal per capita consumption in South Asia to grow by approximately 0.2 percent between 2010 and 2030, and by 6 percent between 2030 and Given these growth rates, consumption per capita would reach 28.1 kilos by Assuming per capita consumption at 28.1 kilos, wheat imports would have to reach 4.5 by 2050 in order to satisfy domestic demand, which would be a 61 percent increase over 2010 imports of Philippines Wheat Situation Population: 48 million 94 million 146 million Brazil Brazilian wheat production reached 5.2 in 2010, 24 percent above its 10-year average of 4.1. Brazilian production has exceeded 5.9 three times in the past decade, but also sank to 2.2 as recently as Production totaled 48 percent of domestic consumption in 2010; imports totaling 6.5 were needed to meet domestic demand. Consumption per capita reached approximately 50.1 kilos in 2010, consistent with the 10-year average. Based on FAPRI s average production growth rate towards 2019, a growth rate of 1.5 percent was used to forecast Brazilian production by Using this rate, Brazilian production will reach 5.9 in The FAO s global wheat production growth rates of 1.1 percent to 2030 and 0.5 percent between 2030 and 2050 were used to estimate Brazil s total production beyond 2019, placing production at 7.3 in FAO s cereal consumption per capita growth rate for Latin America was used to forecast future consumption per capita. Using a rate of 0.18 percent to 2030 and -4 percent between 2030 and 2050, Brazilian per capita consumption will reach 52.0 kilos in 2030 and fall to 48.0 kilos in Given Brazil s historic 7

9 trends in wheat consumption per capita, a negative growth rate after 2030 is considered a conservative estimate. Brazilian wheat consumption per capita was last at 48.0 kilos in Since that time, wheat consumption per capita has grown by over four percent. Brazil s current population of 195 million is expected to grow by 12 percent in 2050, placing population at 219 million. With wheat consumption per capita at 48.0 kilos and production of 7.3, Brazil will have to increase wheat imports in 2050 by 62 percent from 2010 imports. Imports will have to reach 10.5 to satisfy total demand of Brazil Wheat Situation Population: 122 million 195 million 219 million Mexico Mexico produced 3.9 of wheat in 2010, which was 62 percent of total domestic consumption. Total consumption in 2010 reached a record 6.3, six percent above the fiveyear average of 5.9. Consumption per capita, however, was approximately 51.2 kilos in 2010, consistent with the 10-year average. Mexico s wheat production potential is limited due to scarce water resources. Both FAPRI and OECD project minor increases in production by Using OECD s average production growth rate of 0.1 percent, production would increase only slightly from 2010 production (3.900 to ). Production growth rates of 1.1 percent between 2019 and 2030, and 0.5 percent from 2030 to 2050, put Mexican wheat production at 4.9 in Based on FAO s cereal consumption per capita growth rates of 0.18 percent from 2010 to 2030 and -04 percent between 2030 and 2050, wheat consumption per capita in 2050, at 49.0 kilos, will remain on par with

10 Mexico s population stood at 111 million in 2010 and the UN expects Mexico s population growth rate to average 0.5 percent to After 2044, the UN expects Mexico to have a slightly negative population growth rate, putting total population at 129 million in With 129 million people and wheat consumption per capita at 49.0 kilos, total wheat consumption will reach 7.0. Projected output at 4.9 will fall short of total demand, meaning Mexico will have to import 2.1 of wheat in However, this projection is considered extremely conservative given past import growth. 8.0 Mexico Wheat Situation Population: 69 million 111 million 129 million India India is world s second largest wheat-producing country following China. In 2010, production reached a record 80.7, exceeding 8 for the second consecutive year. Indian wheat consumption also reached a record in 2010 at While India is essentially self-sufficient in meeting wheat demand, this year marked the seventh time in the past 10 years that consumption exceeded production. Wheat consumption has grown by 27 percent in the past 10 years, by an average 2.4 percent a year. Consumption per capita reached approximately 62 kilos in 2010, six percent greater than the 10-year average. While India s cereal consumption per capita is expected to decrease in the future, wheat consumption is expected to increase as diet preferences shift from rice to wheat products. FAPRI projects per capita wheat consumption to grow by an average 0.3 percent per year over the next decade, putting Indian consumption per capita at over 63 kilos in Utilizing FAPRI s average growth rate per year, Indian wheat consumption per capita will surpass 69 kilos in

11 India s wheat production will increase moving towards 2050, but will likely increase at a slower rate than its population growth. The UN anticipates India s population to reach 1.6 billion in 2050, growing 33 percent from 1.2 billion in Using FAPRI s average growth rate of 1.1 percent, which is consistent with the FAO s global wheat production growth rate, Indian wheat production is projected to reach 100 by Beyond 2030, the production growth rate will decrease to an estimated 0.5 percent per year based on FAO s global wheat production growth rate, putting production at 111 in To meet domestic demand, India will have to increase wheat imports from a meager 300 thousand metric tons (TMT) in 2010 to 12.5 in India Wheat Situation Population: 693 million 1,214 million 1,614 million China China is the world s largest wheat-producing country with output reaching 115 in Production has averaged 109 over the past five years and has climbed 22 percent since 2001 (93.9 ). Domestic wheat consumption reached 109 in 2010, its highest level since 2001 and two percent above the 10-year average. With production exceeding total consumption for the past five years, wheat imports have only averaged 700 TMT per year since Current consumption per capita is approximately 72 kilos, on par with the 10-year average. The FAO, FAPRI, and OECD all expect China s consumption per capita to decline in the future due to diet diversification (less cereals and more meat consumption) and an already high level of consumption per capita. Using FAO s cereal consumption per capita growth rate of -0.2 percent per year, consumption per capita could decline to 69 kilos by China s production is 10

12 also likely to fall in the short-term. Using FAPRI s average production growth rate of -0.3 percent per year, China s wheat production would fall to 107 by Using FAO s East Asian cereal growth rate projection beyond 2030, China s production would rebound to 111 by China is the world s most populous nation with 1.3 billion people. The UN projects China s population to grow by an average 0.4 percent per year until 2032, when China s population will peak at 1.47 billion. After 2032, the UN projects a negative growth rate, putting China s population in 2050 at 1.43 billion. Given these projections, China is likely to revert to a medium-sized net importer by 2019 through 2040, with imports potentially peaking at 6.7 in However, China s production by 2050 would be sufficient to meet domestic demand due to a negative population growth rate past 2032, along with an increasing production growth rate. U.S. Wheat Associates expects increased demand for meat by China s growing middle class to encourage some acreage shift to field crops. Therefore, we consider the wheat import estimate for 2050 as conservative. 14 China Wheat Situation Population: 986 million 1,362 million 1,426 million 11

13 Projected Chinese Wheat Imports China Imports Conclusion In 2010, the countries and regions in this study were dependent on 68.4 of wheat imports to fulfill domestic demand. Domestic production was capable of meeting 80 percent of total consumption. Given the current population growth rates for these countries, their ability to meet domestic demand will be tested in the future. Increased domestic production alone will not be sufficient; international trade will be a necessary tool in meeting domestic demand. Based on the projections in this study, domestic production by these countries will increase by only 23 percent, while total consumption will increase by 49 percent. Projected imports of in 2050 will more than double 2010 totals. The world s significant wheat exporters are the U.S., Canada, Australia, the Black Sea Region, Europe, and Argentina. These countries are expected to see minimal, or even negative, population growth towards In contrast, population growth will be strongest in the countries of the tropic and subtropical regions where little wheat is grown. We believe it is reasonable to extrapolate from this study that, even without projecting large imports by China, the world wheat trade will likely double by 2050, to 240 or more. Wheat already accounts for one third of all global grain trade by tonnage. Such a large expansion of trade will have major implications for all segments of the industry, including buyers, shippers, handlers, and especially the producers in those countries that will supply the increased exports, including the United States. 12

14 Population (millions) Imports () Population (millions) Imports () Population (millions) Imports () Brazil China , ,426 India , , Indonesia Mexico Middle East North Africa Philippines Sub-Saharan , TOTAL

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