Grain: World Markets and Trade
Foreign Agricultural Service Circular Series
New Suppliers Displace EU in Shrinking World Flour Trade
|World flour trade has dropped 30
percent in just the past 7 years as global market dynamics have changed.
Expanding milling facilities have shifted demand from imported flour to
imported wheat. New, private, quality-conscious mills now dominate many of
the major markets. These buyers tend to buy small hand-to-mouth wheat
cargoes. This contrasts to the monolithic, government buyers that
preferred large quantities for deferred shipment. For example, Yemen and
Algeria–once the world’s largest flour buyers of over 1 million tons
each per year–now import only a fraction of those levels. They both now
rely almost entirely on domestic flour production.
Competition has increased for the shrinking flour market. New, efficient, regional flour suppliers have grabbed market share by providing quicker delivery, smaller shipments, and cheaper transportation to quality-sensitive buyers. For example, the UAE has built state-of-the-art, highly efficient mills to supply markets throughout the region. Also, the FSU and India have built new mills for the production of flour to export to surrounding countries. In contrast, the EU–once the world’s dominant flour supplier–has seen its exports drop nearly 60 percent. Many French mills, which were built near ports for export, have slashed capacity in half or closed, whereas a third of Italy’s mills have already closed.
Complete Grain Report in PDF: Text and Tables
All Grain Summary Tables: Foreign Countries and US Data
Situation and Outlook: Commentary and Current Data
Historical Data Tables: Selected Regions and Countries
Notice to readers:
The Grain: World Markets and Trade circular series no longer includes a printed version of the Historical Data Series for Selected Regions and Countries. Beginning with the January 2003 publication, these historical tables will be available only electronically. The historical tables, along with an electronic version of the Grain: World Markets and Trade circular are available via the FAS website (http://www.fas.usda.gov/grain/). The printed version of the circular will continue to include the Summary Tables and the Situation and Outlook reports.
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