Ghana Wheat: Canada Beats Others
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Wheat is not grown in Ghana; thus, all Wheat on the Ghanaian market is imported. The marketing year 2023/24 total Wheat consumption is forecast to be slightly up at 965,000 metric tons (MT) by Post, a two percent increase with respect to the current year’s estimate of 945,000 MT. The overall rise in the prices of other staples has caused the shift to Wheat consumption. Inflation has witnessed two consecutive drops from the peak of 54.1 percent recorded at the end of 2022 to 52.8 percent at the end of February 2023, but it remains high.
Likewise, food inflation has gone down but remains high at 59.1 percent. Bread remains the primary Wheat flour product in the Ghanaian market. Still, there has been sustained growth in biscuits, pasta, and pastries consumption, alongside the proliferation of instant noodle vending spots and pizza shops. For many urban dwellers in Ghana, having bread for breakfast is the preferred choice, and this is particularly so for those consumers who fall in the lower-income bracket. As breakfast, bread is eaten with cocoa/chocolate drink, tea, and porridge (corn, rice, Wheat, millet, or corn/millet-soy blend).
With signs of decline in inflation and relative stability of the domestic currency in recent months, coupled with positive assurances from the international community and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help Ghana weather the current economic storm, average consumption is expected to be restored in MY2023/24. An increase in consumption demand for Wheat is also anticipated due to population growth, urbanization, and the growing middle class. Hard Wheat flour remains the preference of the Ghanaian consumer, but there has been appreciable growth in the use of soft Wheat flour lately.
About 70 percent of Wheat flour is used to make bread, while the remaining 30 percent is used for cakes and other pastries. Ghanaian consumers prefer high-quality hard Wheat flour, which produces the desired high-top fluffy loaf bread. The MY2022/23 estimated per capita Wheat consumption in Ghana is about 27 kg annually. Bread is now considered a staple in Ghana, especially by urban dwellers, and Wheat consumption has continued to increase in line with urbanization. Also, the growing middle class increasingly seeks out other Wheat flour products like instant noodles, pasta, pizza, croissants, cakes, and biscuits.
Ending stocks are forecast at 227,000 MT in MY2023/24, down by about 10 percent from the MY2022/23 estimate of 252,000 MT. This is due to the expected increased consumption demand, which is not matched by proportionate increased imports. Thus, stocks will be depleted to meet the consumption demand.
Wheat Trade in Ghana
Significant suppliers of Wheat to Ghana include Canada, Turkey, the United States, Latvia, France, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Ukraine, and Côte d’Ivoire, with Canada typically accounting for more than half of the market share. According to AgFlow data, Ghana imported 140,500 tons of Wheat from Canada in 2022, followed by the United States (64,059 tons), Argentina (52,366 tons), and Lithuania (33,000 tons).
Post forecasts MY2023/24 imports at 1.0 million metric tons (MMT), a marginal increase of one percent from the MY2022/23 estimate of 900,000 MT, as importers try to match the growing demand in the face of high port charges and depreciated domestic currency. About 50 percent of the total supplies from Turkey is pre-bagged hard Wheat flour. Hard Wheat classes comprise about 70 percent of Ghana’s imports, and the remaining 30 percent is soft Wheat.
The forecast for exports in MY2023/24 is increased by 20 percent to 60,000 MT from the current year’s estimate of 50,000 MT. This is because millers are sure of having enough supplies for the domestic market. Exports are mainly to neighboring countries (Togo, Burkina Faso, and Niger) and by haulage trucks.
Other sources: USDA
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