FOREIGN COUNTRIES' POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
Grain Exporting Countries: In Search of New Markets
During the 1980's much of the U.S. and Canadas export grain market focused on the Soviet Union and China. These two giant markets provided outlets for both countries feed wheat and grains. For the years of 1987 through 1991 the United States was for the most part the dominant supplier for wheat to the USSR. For the same time period, the U.S. and Canada shared an equal market share in Chinas grain market. However, in the 1990's, after the breakup of the Soviet Union both countries have had to refocus their efforts in other grain markets around the world. During the past decade there has been a shift in domination of market share in various grain markets around the world. For the past 15 years however all of the major grain exporting countries have had to find new grain export opportunities in other third country markets. The U.S. and Canada have been most affected in this shift away from China and the former Soviet Union.
This shift in exports is due to a number of factors. First, the emergence of Australia as a major wheat producer has led to a shift in market share for many of the southeast Asian markets. Additionally, Australia has become increasingly competitive in countries such as Egypt and Pakistan. Second, Canada, through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) pooling mechanism has been able to blend "designer wheats" targeting specific Asian end uses. The CWB has also been able to cater to markets in Latin and South America, North Africa, and Asia by providing wheat which is clean and uniform in size and color. This is due to Canadas ability to clean grain at export points and only offer their farmers limited classes and varieties to grow.
Canada has been aggressively pursuing markets in Latin America, North Africa and Asia. Canada has been proactive in developing closer ties in Latin America through bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with Chile and the Mercosur. Canada has made dramatic inroads into the Peruvian wheat market at the expense of U.S. market share. Canadas share of the Bolivian market has increased steadily since the early 1990's. Also, Canadas wheat sales to Algeria and Morocco have increased.
In year to date (as of April 2000) for crop year 1999/2000, wheat exports to the former Soviet Union and China only comprised 4.5 percent of Canadas total wheat exports. Currently over a third of Canadian wheat exports, 38 percent, have been to target Algeria, Iran, the United States, and Indonesia.
For more information, please contact Debbie Seidband at (202) 720-4204
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