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Wheat and Rice Production to Increase with More Rain Forecast

04 April 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

AFGHANISTAN - Afghanistan’s wheat production is to reach a near record high of 3.8 million metric tons (MMT), a 52 per cent increase over the previous year, and rice production to increase three per cent, both due to better precipitation this year.

Rain-fed wheat production areas are expected to recover in 2012/13. Post forecasts Marketing Year (MY) 2012/13 wheat production at 3.8 million metric tons (MMT), a 52 per cent increase from the previous year, due to better precipitation and normal temperatures.

Regional suppliers have ample grain to satisfy Afghanistan's import requirements of 2.5 MMT, a 24 per cent decline from the previous year on increases in domestic production in the rain-fed areas.

Pakistan and Kazakhstan are the leading suppliers for Afghanistan’s wheat and wheat flour imports.

Wheat and wheat flour import prices are declining after bumper harvests in Russia and Central Asia pushed down regional prices. Wheat consumption is expected to increase by seven per cent to 6.3 MMT, based on a greater availability of wheat and wheat flour in local markets.

Wheat is the most important crop in Afghanistan, supplying over half of the population's caloric intake, but consumers are slowly increasing their consumption of rice. Post estimates Afghanistan’s wheat stocks will total 78,000 MT, up from zero the previous year on donations to the strategic grain reserves from India and Afghan government purchases of grain from small-scale local farmers.

Post forecasts Afghanistan’s MY 2012/13 rice production at 350,000 metric tons from an area harvested of 205,000 hectares; the production forecast is a three per cent increase from the previous year on good precipitation.

Pakistan will remain the dominant supplier of rice to Afghanistan, as it supplies 95 per cent of the market. Post estimates MY 2012/13 rice consumption at 610,000 metric tons, a four percent increase over the previous year on increasing consumer demand for rice consumption in urban areas.

Traders report that domestic rice prices track world prices very closely, and future price movements in Afghanistan will likely follow that trend. Post forecasts a decline in Afghanistan’s rice prices as India re-entered the world market in mid-2011, causing prices in Pakistan and Viet Nam to drop.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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