World's Largest Grain Exporters, Comprehensive Guide

World’s Largest Grain Exporters, A Comprehensive Guide

How 8 Countries Dominate the World’s Grain Trade: A Comprehensive Guide

Grain is one of the most important commodities in the world, feeding billions of people and animals, and providing raw materials for many industries. The global grain trade is a complex and dynamic system, involving multiple actors, markets, and regulations. In this article, we will explore how 8 countries dominate the world’s grain trade, what are their main products, challenges, and opportunities, and what are the implications for food security, sustainability, and geopolitics.

The 8 countries that dominate the world’s grain trade are: Russia, Canada, United States, France, Ukraine, Australia, Argentina, and Brazil. Together, they accounted for about 80% of the total wheat exports and 60% of the total maize exports in 2020, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics. These countries have different comparative advantages, such as climate, land, technology, infrastructure, policies, and market access, that enable them to produce and export large quantities of grain.

1. Russia

Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 19.5% in 2020. It has benefited from favorable weather conditions, low production costs, improved quality standards, and a weak currency that makes its wheat more competitive in the international market. Russia mainly exports wheat to countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.


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2. Canada

Canada is the second-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 13.9% in 2020. It has a reputation for producing high-quality wheat varieties that are suitable for baking and milling. Canada mainly exports wheat to the United States, China, Indonesia, Japan, and Mexico.

3. United States

The United States is the third-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 13.7% in 2020. It has a diversified production system that can offer different types of wheat for different uses and preferences. The United States mainly exports wheat to Mexico, Japan, Philippines, Nigeria, and South Korea.

4. France

France is the fourth-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 9.3% in 2020. It has a highly productive and mechanized agriculture sector that can produce high yields of wheat. France mainly exports wheat to Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and China.

5. Ukraine

Ukraine is the fifth-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 9% in 2020. It has a favorable climate and fertile soil that allow it to grow large amounts of wheat at low costs. Ukraine mainly exports wheat to China, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey.

6. Australia

Australia is the sixth-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 15.4% in 2020. It has a strong research and development system that enables it to produce high-quality and drought-tolerant wheat varieties. Australia mainly exports wheat to China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea.

7. Argentina

Argentina is the seventh-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 4.7% in 2020. It has a large and diverse agricultural sector that can produce both winter and spring wheat varieties. Argentina mainly exports wheat to Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Vietnam, and Algeria.

8. Brazil

Brazil is the eighth-largest wheat exporter, with a market share of 1.5% in 2020. It has a growing domestic demand for wheat that exceeds its production, so it also imports wheat from other countries, mainly Argentina. Brazil mainly exports wheat to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, and Nigeria.

The global grain trade is not only influenced by supply and demand factors, but also by political, economic,
social, and environmental factors. Some of the main challenges and opportunities for the world’s grain exporters are:

Climate change

Climate change poses both risks and opportunities for grain production and trade. On one hand, it can affect crop yields, quality, and prices by altering weather patterns, water availability, pests, and diseases. On the other hand, it can create new market opportunities for countries that can adapt to changing conditions or offer climate-smart solutions.

Trade policies

Trade policies can affect the flow and price of grain in the international market by imposing tariffs, quotas, subsidies, sanctions, or other measures. Trade policies can also facilitate or hinder regional integration, market access, and cooperation among countries.

Food security

Food security is a key objective for many countries that import or export grain. Food security depends not only on the availability and affordability of food, but also on its quality, safety, and diversity. Food security can be enhanced or threatened by factors such as population growth, urbanization, income distribution, conflict, and natural disasters.


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Sustainability

Sustainability is a growing concern for many stakeholders in the grain trade, including producers, consumers, traders, and policymakers. Sustainability involves balancing the economic, social, and environmental impacts of grain production and trade, such as resource use, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, land use, labor rights, and animal welfare.

Geopolitics

Geopolitics is the interplay of power and interests among countries and regions in the world. Geopolitics can affect the grain trade by creating alliances or rivalries, conflicts or cooperation, stability or uncertainty. Geopolitics can also shape the global governance and regulation of the grain trade.

The world’s grain trade is a vital and complex system that involves many actors, markets, and regulations. The 8 countries that dominate the world’s grain trade have different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that influence their performance and prospects. The global grain trade is also affected by various factors such as climate change, trade policies, food security, sustainability, and geopolitics. Understanding these factors can help to improve the efficiency, equity, and resilience of the global grain trade.

World’s Largest Grain Exporters and Global Demand Trends

Grain is one of the most important commodities in the world, as it feeds billions of people and animals, and supports various industries such as food processing, biofuels, and animal feed. The global grain market is influenced by many factors, such as weather, production, consumption, trade policies, and prices. In this blog post, we will look at some of the world’s largest grain exporters and how the global demand for grain has changed over time.

Wheat: Russia Leads the Pack

Wheat is one of the biggest crops in the international grain trade, alongside other crops like maize (corn), rice and soybean. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world wheat exports in 2020 amounted to 188.7 million tonnes, valued at $41.9 billion. The top five wheat exporters in 2020 were:

  • Russia: 37.3 million tonnes ($7.9 billion)
  • United States: 26.1 million tonnes ($6.3 billion)
  • Canada: 26.1 million tonnes ($6.3 billion)
  • France: 19.8 million tonnes ($4.5 billion)
  • Ukraine: 18.1 million tonnes ($3.6 billion)

These five countries accounted for 67% of the global wheat exports in 2020. Russia has been the world’s largest wheat exporter since 2016, surpassing the United States, which was the leader for decades. Russia’s wheat production has increased significantly in recent years, thanks to favorable weather conditions, improved yields, and low production costs. Russia’s main wheat export destinations are Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and China.

The global demand for wheat has been growing steadily, driven by population growth, income growth, urbanization, and changing dietary preferences in developing countries. According to the International Grains Council (IGC), the world wheat consumption in 2020/21 was estimated at 759 million tonnes, up by 1% from the previous year. The main wheat consumers are China, India, European Union, Russia, and United States.

Maize: United States Dominates the Market

Maize (corn) is another major crop in the global grain trade, mainly used for animal feed, food processing, and biofuels. According to the FAO, the world maize exports in 2020 amounted to 173.5 million tonnes, valued at $31 billion. The top five maize exporters in 2020 were:

  • United States: 67.3 million tonnes ($11.8 billion)
  • Brazil: 34.5 million tonnes ($5.9 billion)
  • Argentina: 33 million tonnes ($5 billion)
  • Ukraine: 24 million tonnes ($4 billion)
  • France: 4.7 million tonnes ($0.8 billion)

These five countries accounted for 94% of the global maize exports in 2020. The United States has been the world’s largest maize exporter for decades, with a market share of almost 40%. The United States produces about one-third of the world’s maize crop, thanks to its large and fertile land area, advanced technology, and efficient infrastructure. The United States’ main maize export destinations are Mexico, Japan, Colombia, South Korea, and China.

The global demand for maize has been increasing rapidly, driven by rising demand for animal feed, biofuels, and food products in developing countries. According to the IGC, the world maize consumption in 2020/21 was estimated at 1.16 billion tonnes, up by 2% from the previous year. The main maize consumers are China, United States, European Union, Brazil, and Mexico.

Rice: India Tops the Chart

Rice is another important crop in the global grain trade, mainly consumed as food staple in Asia and Africa. According to the FAO, the world rice exports in 2020 amounted to 47 million tonnes (milled basis), valued at $19 billion. The top five rice exporters in 2020 were:

  • India: 16 million tonnes ($6 billion)
  • Thailand: 7.5 million tonnes ($4 billion)
  • Vietnam: 6.6 million tonnes ($3 billion)
  • Pakistan: 4 million tonnes ($2 billion)
  • United States: 3.6 million tonnes ($2 billion)

These five countries accounted for 80% of the global rice exports in 2020. India has been the world’s largest rice exporter since 2011, surpassing Thailand, which was the leader for many years. India’s rice production has grown significantly in recent years, thanks to favorable monsoon rains, improved varieties, and government support policies. India’s main rice export destinations are Bangladesh, Iran, Saudi Arabia,
Nepal,and Benin.

The global demand for rice has been rising steadily, driven by population growth, income growth, and dietary diversification in developing countries. According to the IGC, the world rice consumption in 2020/21 was estimated at 504 million tonnes (milled basis), up by 1% from the previous year. The main rice consumers are China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.

The global grain market is dynamic and complex, with many players and factors influencing the supply and demand of different crops. The world’s largest grain exporters are Russia, United States, Canada, France, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, India, Thailand, and Vietnam. The global demand for grain has been growing steadily, driven by population growth, income growth, urbanization, and changing dietary preferences in developing countries. The future of the global grain market will depend on various factors, such as climate change, trade policies, technological innovations, and consumer preferences.

References:

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.GSR.GNFS.CD?most_recent_value_desc=true

https://knoema.com//atlas/Taiwan-Province-of-China/topics/Foreign-Trade/Export/Exports-of-goods-and-services

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.EXP.GNFS.CD?locations=IR

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wheat_exports
https://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/8-countries-that-produce-the-most-grain-in-the-world-447513/?singlepage=1
https://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/en/economia/noticia/2021-03/study-brazil-be-worlds-top-grain-exporter-five-years

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wheat_exports

https://abc.az/en/news/97416

https://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/8-countries-that-produce-the-most-grain-in-the-world-447513/?singlepage=1

https://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/en/economia/noticia/2021-03/study-brazil-be-worlds-top-grain-exporter-five-years



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