(Ecofin Agency) - During the 2017-18 season, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will be the world’s largest wheat importer. This was revealed by the US Department of Agriculture in its report on global grain trade market, published yesterday April 10.
According to the organization, SSA’s purchases should increase to 26 million tons this season from 22.2 million tons in 2016/2017. An increase by about 17.4% that remains well above that of Southeast Asia (+2.1%), the world's leading wheat importer.
This dynamic of SSA is due to a stagnant production (to around 7 million tons yearly) in the recent years and rapid consumption coupled with a growth of the incomes, urbanization and population.
Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, Ethiopia and South Africa are set to drive this increase. The last two countries are expected to record the largest increases in volume, by 70% and 60% respectively compared to the previous season.
Let’s recall that Sub-Saharan Africa mainly imports wheat in the form of grains, flour and related products. Wheat accounts for about 5% of the region's total cereal production, after crops such as maize, rice, sorghum and millet.