Chinese stock market news site Stock Star recently reported that China is scouring the world for wheat, with annual imports on track to hit a record high as recent heavy rains have damaged domestic crops. Wheat traders say that China has ordered large quantities of wheat in October, buying from a number of major exporters including the United States, Canada and France. The current buying spree follows high-volume wheat purchases from Australia earlier this year.
Growing wheat demand from China is adding uncertainty to supply chains that are increasingly vulnerable to war and protectionist trade policies. Chinese imports totaled a record 9.96 million tons last year as the agricultural sector shifted to use more wheat as animal feed and Chinese citizens ate more bread. China is currently competing with Egypt to become the world’s largest Wheat importer. Chinese overseas procurement volume in the first eight months of 2023 has reached 9.56 million tons, of which more than 60 percent came from Australia.
China’s summer wheat output fell by 0.9 percent this year to 134.53 million tons, the first decline in seven years. Continued rains have caused the quality of 30 million to 40 million tons of wheat to deteriorate as this year’s crops near harvest, making the grains suitable for livestock feed but unsuitable for human consumption. Much of China’s recent buying activity has resulted from these weather problems.
Source: Stock Star, October 12, 2023