These 10 countries that export the most wheat in the world shipped almost 82 percent of the total crop exports in 2015. Wheat, which is second-most produced grain in the world, has been grown since 9600 BC. Although it has been one of the staple foods for centuries, recent discoveries about the effects of gluten on overall health have led many people, especially in western countries, to replace wheat flour with gluten-free alternatives. The number of those who are switching to a food without gluten is rising every day, but it is very unlikely that it will have any serious effect on global wheat production in the near future.
According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) record quantities of wheat were produced in the season 2015/16. The total crop’s output of 734.1 million tons represents an increase of some 7 million tons. Since 2013/14 global crop’s yield has outpaced consumption, which is a trend that will continue in the future. Although projections for the following season show that production of wheat will decline to 727 million tons, the gap between production and consumption won’t be erased. Global consumption of wheat as food, which is driven by population growth and higher purchasing power in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, will increase by 0.5 percent. However, usage of the crop as animal feed will go down by 2.3 percent, which is also one of the reasons that create disproportion between produced and consumed wheat.
USDA estimates that among top producing countries Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Russia will see the rise in the output, while the EU, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and the United States will yield less wheat compared to 2015/16. The same organization forecasts that wheat ending stocks for 2016/17 will reach a record of 257 million tons, mainly because of rapidly growing stocks in China which constitute almost half of global stocks. In regards to import, Morocco, which was hit by droughts, will record the highest demand for the grain, while Iran will buy 1.8 million tons less.
In order to determine which are 10 countries that export the most wheat in the world we used two sources – USDA’s report which provides information on exported quantities in 2015 and World’s Top Export (WTE) data about wheat shipment values in 2015. Unlike our previous article on 10 countries that export the most uranium in the world, where we ranked countries by exported quantities, this list is based on shipments values. WTE estimates that the value of global wheat export in 2015 was $83 billion, which represents 19.7 percent decline compared to the previous season. European countries, which earned the most from the grain shipments, exported a $18.6 billion wheat while Poland and Kazakhstan recorded the growth which exceeded 100 percent.