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The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food supply and prices in countries at risk of food insecurity. The Regional Supply and Market Outlook report provides a summary of regional staple food availability, surpluses and deficits during the current marketing year, projected price behavior, implications for local and regional commodity procurement, and essential market monitoring indicators. 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.
- Wheat production in Central Asia is expected to be around 68.9 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 eight 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 43 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. Wheat prices have been relatively low since 2015 across Central Asia and on global markets. Export prices decreased in June 2020 due to ongoing wheat harvests in the Northern Hemisphere surplus-producing countries. Export prices are above the five-year average in Kazakhstan but remain competitive on global markets.
- COVID-19 disrupted trade flows between countries and adversely impacted food prices in the region, particularly in food importing countries. Prices are expected to follow seasonal trends and remain above 2019 and five-year average levels in most countries within the region. Further, COVID-19 related market disruptions will significantly impact wheat prices in net food importing countries.
- Wheat production in Afghanistan is currently estimated to be near average and will be lower than last year’s slightly above-average production. As detailed in the Afghanistan Food Security Outlook, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in high elevation areas where the main harvest has not started yet and in urban areas where COVID-19 severely impacted household income sources coupled with above-average food prices.