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FEWS NET gratefully acknowledges partner organizations, national ministries of agriculture, national market information systems, regional organizations, and others for their assistance in providing the harvest estimates, commodity balance sheets, as well as trade and price data used in this report. To learn more about typical market conditions in Central Asia, readers are invited to explore the Central Asia regional wheat market fundamentals report. In this report, “Central Asia” refers to the countries of Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This Regional Supply and Market Outlook Update summarizes market and price trends in Central Asia through February 2021.
- Wheat production in Central Asia is expected to be around 70.6 million metric tons (MMT) for the 2020/21 marketing year (MY), almost steady with the last year and the recent five-year average. Regional supply, however, is six percent below the five-year average due to low regional opening stocks following below-average MY 2018/19 production. Consequently, regional MY 2020/21 net surplus is expected to be 42 percent below the five-year average. On aggregate, the region will still produce a net surplus, despite significant drawdown on stocks over the last two years.
- Trade flows are expected to remain normal despite the reduction in regional net surplus. Afghanistan will continue to meet most of its import requirement with Kazakhstani wheat. International wheat prices increased on average in January owing to robust global wheat trade and spillover effects from rising maize and soybean prices (USDA). Wheat prices were on average above January 2020 and five-year average levels. In Kazakhstan, wheat export prices will likely remain above the five-year average and will be competitive on global markets.
- Wheat flour prices will likely remain above 2020- and five-year average levels in most countries in the region. Mainly due to the below average regional supply, currency depreciation in some countries, and COVID-19 related market disruptions. Furthermore, ongoing La Niña conditions may impact wheat production in the region and could potentially exacerbate food prices in net importing countries.