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Regional wheat production in the 2022/23 market year (MY) (starting September 2022 and ending August 2023) is forecast to be stable in comparison to the MY 2021/22 given a second season of dryness during the production period. In MY 2022/23, regional harvests are expected to reach 66.2 million metric tons (MMT), four percent above the previous year and only 0.3 percent above the recent five-year average. Regional opening stocks are estimated 11 percent above 2021/22 levels but nine percent below the five-year average. As a result, the region’s aggregate net supply is expected to remain positive at one percent and five percent above last year and the five-year average levels, respectively.
Wheat prices in Central Asia remain varied across the region with increasing prices in Kazakhstan and Pakistan and stable prices in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. Wheat prices are driven principally by prices in Kazakhstan the leading regional wheat exporter, where the average retail price of wheat flour increased 32 percent compared to October last year. Prices are also influenced by international prices, transportation costs, and domestic supply fluctuations. Prices across the region have been consistently above the previous year and five-year averages. Prices are projected to remain above average throughout the region in the 2022/23 marketing year.
Exports from Kazakhstan are average, having declined only two and five percent compared to last years and the five-year average, respectively. Exported and re-exported wheat grain and flour from Uzbekistan have expanded compared to the previous year but remain stable compared to average, and Pakistan has experienced a large deficit in rice production due to flooding in August 2022.