Bahrain Wheat Import Cost: Up 55%


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Official data reveals that Bahrain’s cost of importing Wheat to meet its domestic needs increased by 55% during June 2022 due to global unrest, such as the shipping crisis and the repercussions of the Ukrainian-Russian war, which contributed to the rise in Wheat prices in the world.

Although Bahrain imports from Australia, which is geographically far from Ukraine, the crisis contributed to an increase in the demand for Australian Wheat, which pushed prices to record levels around the world. According to data from the Bahraini Customs Administration, Bahrain imported about 24.5 thousand tons of Wheat from Australia during June 2022, at a value of 4.8 million dinars (Bahraini National Currency), equivalent to “198 fils per kilogram,” compared to importing 27.5 thousand tons of Wheat from Australia, at a value of 3.5 million dinars in June 2021, which is equivalent to “127 fils per kilogram”, with an increase in the price of about 55.8%.

The average Bahrain imports of Wheat from Australia in 2021 was about 135 fils per kilogram, compared to an average price of 108 fils per kilogram in 2020, with a growth rate of 24.3%. The high cost of importing Wheat will lead to an increase in the subsidy bill for flour provided by the Bahraini Government to the highest level in its history. It is noteworthy that the Bahraini Government supports flour made from Wheat in the Bahrain Flour Mills Company, as it is sold to bakeries at a low price in return for fixing the price of bread.

However, many products are made from Wheat flour. They are not covered by the Government subsidies, such as pizza, pasta, pasta, balaleet, qaimat, and other products, whose prices in the local markets have risen between 20% and 50% due to the rise in Wheat prices in the global markets. The price of a bag of balaleet, sold at 400 fils, increased to 600 fils, by 50%, while a pack of pasta, which was sold at 300 fils, increased to 500 and 600 fils.

In 2020, Bahrain imported Wheat worth $21.3 million, becoming the world’s 119th most significant importer of Wheat. In the same year, Wheat was the 122nd most imported product in Bahrain. Bahrain imports Wheat primarily from: Australia ($21.1M), India ($177k), United Arab Emirates ($9.93k), the United Kingdom ($7.82k), and the Netherlands ($4.4k). But, the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade show much higher value that Bahrain Imports from Australia of Wheat and meslin was US$46.5 Million during 2020. 

Bahrain-Australian Wheat Cooperation

Talks are underway to establish a regional food security hub in Bahrain. “There is an enormous potential to collaborate between the two countries to set up the Bahraini Australian Food Security Hub Office that will pave the way to set up production and processing plants in Bahrain,” said Simon Harrison, Chairman of Australia Bahrain Business Council.

Simon was a delegation member on a three-day visit (June 19-21) to Manama for talks with the Economic Development Board and other entities, including in the private sector, to explore the opportunities for cooperation in food security and agriculture.

Mr. Simon Harrison commented: I proudly announce that we have been the third-largest business council in Australia since its inception two and a half years ago. Australians recognize that Bahrain is the prominent partner for the whole region.

“In addition, it will open a new era of jobs in the logistic sector for the local and regional workforce. We feel that we can establish a food security hub infrastructure in Bahrain in partnership with Australian companies, which will cater to the food supplies of Bahrain and the region,” he added.

Other sources: BNA

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