Wheat Exports by Country, 10 Major Exporting Countries

Wheat Exports by Country, 10 Major Exporting Countries

10 Countries That Export the Most Wheat in the World

Wheat is one of the most important cereal crops in the world, with a global production of over 750 million tons in 2020. Wheat is used for various purposes, such as making bread, pasta, noodles, biscuits, cakes, pastries, cereals, animal feed, and biofuel. Wheat is also a source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


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Wheat is traded internationally, with different countries producing and exporting different types of wheat. Some of the main types of wheat are hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, durum, hard white, and soft white. The quality and price of wheat depend on factors such as protein content, gluten strength, moisture content, test weight, and foreign material.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the top 10 wheat exporters in the world in 2020 were:

1. Russia

Russia was the largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 37.3 million tons and a value of $7.9 billion. Russia mainly exports hard red winter wheat to countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Russia has a competitive advantage in wheat production due to its large land area, favorable climate, low production costs, and weak currency.

2. United States

The United States was the second-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 26.1 million tons and a value of $6.3 billion. The United States produces and exports various types of wheat, such as hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, durum, hard white, and soft white. The main destinations for U.S. wheat exports are Mexico, Japan, China, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

3. Canada

Canada was the third-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 26.1 million tons and a value of $6.3 billion. Canada is known for its high-quality wheat, especially hard red spring wheat and durum wheat. Canada exports wheat to over 70 countries around the world, with the top markets being China, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh, and Colombia.

4. France

France was the fourth-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 19.8 million tons and a value of $4.5 billion. France mainly produces and exports soft wheat (also known as common wheat or bread wheat), which is used for making bread and other baked goods. France’s main export destinations for wheat are Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and China.

5. Ukraine

Ukraine was the fifth-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 18.1 million tons and a value of $3.6 billion. Ukraine produces both feed wheat and milling wheat (used for human consumption), but exports mostly feed wheat to countries in Asia and Africa. Ukraine’s main export markets for wheat are China, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey.

6. Australia

Australia was the sixth-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 10.4 million tons and a value of $2.7 billion. Australia produces mainly hard white and hard red winter wheat, which are suitable for making noodles and bread. Australia exports wheat to over 50 countries, with the top destinations being China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea.

7. Argentina

Argentina was the seventh-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 10.2 million tons and a value of $2 billion. Argentina produces mostly soft red winter wheat, which is used for making bread, crackers, and pastries.
Argentina exports wheat to over 40 countries, with the main markets being Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Algeria, and Vietnam.

8. Germany

Germany was the eighth-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 9.3 million tones and a value of $2.1 billion. Germany produces mainly soft wheat, which is used for making bread, cakes, and cookies. Germany exports wheat to over 100 countries, with the top destinations being Algeria, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, and Poland.

9. India

India was the ninth-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 2.1 million tons and a value of $2.1 billion.
India produces mostly durum wheat, which is used for making pasta, couscous, and semolina. India exports wheat to over 30 countries, with the main markets being Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia.

10. Romania

Romania was the tenth-largest wheat exporter in 2020, with a volume of 2.1 million tons and a value of $2.1 billion. Romania produces mostly soft wheat, which is used for making bread and other baked products.
Romania exports wheat to over 60 countries, with the top destinations being Egypt, Spain, Italy, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Wheat Exports by Country: Trends and Analysis

Wheat is one of the most important cereal crops in the world, providing food and feed for humans and animals. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global wheat production reached 776 million tons in 2020, an increase of 1.4% from 2019. Wheat is also one of the most traded commodities, with an estimated export value of $61.8 billion in 2021, up by 19.3% from 2020.

In this blog post, we will examine the trends and patterns of wheat exports by country, based on the latest data from the World’s Top Exports website and the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). We will also discuss some of the factors that affect the global wheat market and its outlook.

Top Wheat Exporters by Country

The following table shows the top 15 wheat exporters by country in 2021, along with their export values and market shares.

CountryExport Value (US$)Market Share (%)
Russia8.92 billion14.4
USA7.83 billion12.7
Australia7.36 billion11.9
Canada6.91 billion11.2
Ukraine5.87 billion9.5
France4.53 billion7.3
Argentina3.32 billion5.4
Germany2.98 billion4.8
India2.94 billion4.8
Romania2.49 billion4
Kazakhstan1.97 billion3.2
Poland1.67 billion2.7
Bulgaria1.41 billion2.3
Lithuania1.09 billion1.8
Brazil0.97 billion1.6

The top five wheat exporters accounted for almost two-thirds (61.7%) of the total wheat exports in value terms in 2021, indicating a high concentration of the market among a few major players.


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Russia was the largest wheat exporter in the world, with a market share of 14.4%. Russia’s wheat exports increased by 12% from 2020, mainly due to favorable weather conditions and strong demand from its main markets, such as Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, and China.

The USA was the second-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 12.7%. The USA’s wheat exports grew by 23% from 2020, driven by higher prices and lower competition from other suppliers, especially Canada and Australia.

Australia was the third-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 11.9%. Australia’s wheat exports surged by 40% from 2020, thanks to a record harvest of 33 million tons after three years of drought.

Canada was the fourth-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 11.2%. Canada’s wheat exports increased by 20% from 2020, despite some logistical challenges caused by labor disputes and rail disruptions.

Ukraine was the fifth-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 9.5%. Ukraine’s wheat exports declined by
18% from 2020, due to lower production and export quotas imposed by the government to ensure domestic food security.

Factors Affecting the Global Wheat Market

The global wheat market is influenced by various factors, such as supply and demand dynamics, weather conditions, trade policies, exchange rates, and geopolitical events.

Some of the key factors that affected the global wheat market in 2021 were:

The COVID-19 pandemic:

The pandemic had mixed impacts on the global wheat market, depending on the region and stage of the value chain. On one hand, it boosted consumer demand for wheat-based products, such as bread and pasta, as people stocked up on staple foods and cooked more at home. On the other hand, it disrupted trade flows and logistics, as lockdowns and border closures hampered transportation and increased costs. It also affected food service demand for wheat-based products, such as bakery and pastry items, as restaurants and hotels reduced their operations or closed down.

The La Niña phenomenon:

The La Niña phenomenon is a climatic event that causes cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, affecting weather patterns around the world. In 2021, La Niña contributed to favorable growing conditions for wheat in some regions, such as Russia, Australia, and Argentina, leading to higher production and exports. However, it also caused adverse weather conditions in other regions, such as Canada, the USA, and Europe, resulting in lower production and quality issues.

The export restrictions:

Some wheat-exporting countries-imposed export restrictions or taxes on wheat in 2021, in order to protect their domestic markets from rising prices and ensure food security amid the pandemic. For example, Russia introduced an export tax on wheat from February to June 2021, and then replaced it with a permanent floating tax from July 2021 onwards. Ukraine also imposed an export quota on wheat from July 2020 to June 2021, limiting its exports to 17.5 million tons. These measures reduced the availability of wheat on the global market and increased the volatility of prices.

The exchange rate movements:

The exchange rate movements also affected the competitiveness and profitability of wheat exporters and importers in 2021. For example, the depreciation of the US dollar against other major currencies made US wheat more attractive for foreign buyers, while the appreciation of the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar reduced their export margins.

Outlook for the Global Wheat Market

According to the latest projections from the FAO, global wheat production is expected to reach a new record of
785 million tons in 2022, up by 1.2% from 2021 This is mainly due to an increase in area harvested and improved yields in some regions, such as Russia, Australia, India, and Argentina.

Global wheat consumption is also forecast to increase by 1.4% to 778 million tons in 2022, driven by higher food and feed use. Food use is projected to grow by 1.3% to 521 million tons in line with population growth and dietary preferences. Feed use is projected to grow by 2% to 149 million tons as wheat becomes more competitive with other feed grains.

Global wheat trade is expected to remain high at around 196 million tons in 2022, slightly lower than the record level of 198 million tons in 2021.

The main importers are likely to be Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, China, and Turkey, while the main exporters are likely to be Russia, the USA, Australia, Canada, and France.

The global wheat market is likely to face some uncertainties and challenges in the coming year, such as:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic: The pandemic is still posing a threat to public health and economic activity in many parts of the world, creating uncertainty and volatility in the global wheat market. The emergence of new variants of the virus, the uneven distribution of vaccines, and the potential reintroduction of lockdown measures could affect consumer demand, trade flows, and logistics.
  • The weather conditions: The weather conditions are always a key factor for crop production and quality. In 2022, the La Niña phenomenon is expected to continue until at least the first quarter of the year, affecting weather patterns in different regions. For example, it could cause dryness in North America and Europe, reducing crop prospects, while it could bring more rainfall in South America and Asia, improving crop conditions.
  • The trade policies: The trade policies of major wheat-exporting and importing countries could also have an impact on the global wheat market. For example, the export taxes or quotas imposed by Russia or Ukraine could affect the availability and prices of wheat on the global market, while the trade agreements or disputes between countries such as China and Australia or China and Canada could affect their trade flows and market shares.

References:

http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/TP

http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/csdb/en/
https://www.worldstopexports.com/wheat-exports-country/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wheat_exports
https://oec.world/en/profile/hs/wheat



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