Nigeria wheat imports on all-time rise

Nigerians’ demand for wheat is pushing for increased importation with supply gap of nearly five million metric tonnes, which cannot be provided through local supply.

A study by KPMG attributed the growth in wheat demand to usage by manufacturers of wheat-based foods such as flour, pasta, semolina, noodles and wheat meal.

According to the study, the size of the Nigerian biscuit segment, has been estimated at N121 billion, having grown at a common annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent in the past five years.

Data by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the 420,000 metric tonnes of wheat produced in Nigeria last year grossly inadequate to meet growing demand.

Data sources accessed by The Nation have shown growing imports in the last six years.

For instance, Knoema, an international research firm, stated that the nation’s wheat imports quantity increased from 350,000 tonnes in 1971 to 650,000 tonnes in 2020 growing at an average yearly rate of 10.21 per cent.

In its report, Knoema noted that Nigeria imported 6.5million tonnes of wheat last year.

In 2020, the report said Nigeria was among 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of wheat.

In Africa, Egypt and Nigeria imported the largest amount of wheat. Egypt: $2.7 billion (5.7 per cent of total imported wheat), Nigeria ‘s imported value of $2.06 billion was (4.3 per cent) of the global total.

Since 2019, Nigeria imports were up by 62.3 per cent, while Morocco increased by 48.2 per cent.

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According to www.worldstopexports.com, Nigeria imported wheat worth $2,056,507,000.

The five biggest buyers of wheat, the platform listed were Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, China, and Nigeria. They purchased a quarter (25.2 per cent) of overall wheat imports last year.

Nigeria is one of the biggest importer of wheat from the United States.

Generally, it imports five classes of wheat: Hard Red Winter (HRW), Hard Red Spring (HRS), Soft Red Winter (SRW), Hard Winter, and durum.

In 2015, Nigeria imported wheat worth $ 524 million from the United States, $265 million in 2016, $372 million in 2017, $ 193 million in 2018 and $ 472 million in 2019.

Globally, the research platform noted that wheat imported last year generated a total $47.4 billion in international purchases.

Similarly, the Food and Agriculture Organisation identified Nigeria among the top 20 importers of wheat. In 2015, Nigeria was ranked 11 position. It imported 4391665 tonnes of wheat. Egypt was the highest with 10661422 tonnes.

In 2016, Nigeria was 18 positions with 4240715 tonnes of wheat. Egypt imported the highest volume of Wheat with 11138437 tonnes.

In 2017, it was ninth position with 5624981 tonnes of wheat. That year, however, Indonesia imported the highest volume of wheat with 10454195 tonnes.

In 2018 Nigeria was 13th position with imports volume of 4810412tonnes. The highest was from Indonesia which imported 10096299tonnes of wheat.

In 2019, Nigeria was again ranked 13 position with4660255 tonnes of wheat. Indonesia still led the pack with 10962191 tonnes of wheat.

Since 2014 to 2021, according to Statista GmbH, a Germany based international research group, Nigeria has been among the principal importing countries of wheat, flour and wheat products.

The group included Egypt, Indonesia, Brazil, Phippines, Turkey, and Algeria.

<<The Nation>>