Haitian Traders Prefer Durum Wheat
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Haiti does not produce Wheat. It depends on imports to satisfy domestic demand. In MY 2022/23, consumption of Wheat and Wheat products is forecast at 280,000 MT, up 1 percent compared to the previous MY. An increase in population is a critical factor in higher Wheat consumption. The population in Haiti is projected to reach 11,680,000 in 2022, 1 percent higher than the previous year, according to the World Bank.
In MY 2021/22, the projection for total consumption of Wheat and Wheat products was 277,000 MT, a 1 percent increase compared to the previous MY. This increase was due to continued secular population growth. The hike in international Wheat prices, rising inflation, and the fall in the gross domestic product will have a direct impact on both food prices and local purchasing power.
However, despite these economic pressures, Wheat consumption is not expected to fall as Wheat remains a staple food. In MY 2022/23, Wheat stocks are forecast at 71,000 MT, up 20 percent compared to MY 2021/22. This increase is due to efforts to import Wheat to meet both the domestic demand and to grow stocks to protect gross margins from the economic shocks of high international Wheat prices. Sources indicate that millers have between 100,000-120,000 MT of Wheat storage capacity and the flexibility to contract Wheat at the current market prices six and twelve months in advance, which allow them to boost stocks and gain protection from buying higher-priced grain at a time of constrained global supply.
Venezuela is entirely dependent on imported Wheat for domestic consumption. Wheat consumption estimates for marketing year (MY) 2022/23 will increase by 5 percent from the previous marketing year to 1.2 million tons, based on rising Wheat imports due to an expected recovery of the Venezuelan economy.
The national milling industry is expected to rebound in the production of pasta and Wheat flour due to the regime’s priority of increasing local processing capacity. The Venezuelan milling industry will likely translate rising prices of Wheat into higher consumer prices if commodities become less available in the market due to current global uncertainty and supply disruptions.
In MY 2021/22, the Wheat consumption estimate was 1.15 million tons. Driven by a regime policy, the domestic industry tried to increase production, but local pasta was not satisfactorily sold in the market, given the competitive prices of pasta from Turkey. In calendar year (CY) 2021, the domestic Wheat industry and the regime agreed to progressively increase demand for domestically produced pasta. The objective was to achieve a supply balance of 50 percent domestic pasta and 50 percent imported pasta through price reductions and product availability.
The annual per capita consumption of Wheat, based on a population of 28 million, remains at approximately 37 kg (82 pounds). The purchasing power of Venezuelan consumers is slowly strengthening, supported by the augmented salaries paid by the private sector and a rebound in the reception of remittances in MY 2021/22.
The milling industry is currently working at an average capacity of 24 percent. The nominal installed milling capacity is 2.54 million tons per year. Now, the milling industry produces 65 percent of total consumption. The monthly needs of the Venezuelan Wheat milling industry to supply the current domestic market and maintain reasonable inventory levels are 115,000 tons per month (50,000 tons of Hard Red Winter (HRW) Wheat, 40,000 tons of durum Wheat, 20,000 tons of Wheat blend, and 5,000 tons of soft Wheat for cookies and crackers).
Haitian Wheat Import
In MY 2021/22, Wheat imports are expected to reach 237,000 MT, an increase of 13 percent relative to the previous period. The double-digit growth is based on the ongoing efforts of local millers to increase flour production to meet the domestic demand and compensate for the withdrawal of Turkish flour, which was restricted because of increased customs duty. Haiti also imports Wheat products, including Wheat flour, pasta, and uncooked pasta, from the Dominican Republic and occasionally from the European Union and Mexico. According to Agflow data, the US shipped 173,000 tons of Wheat to Haiti in 2021-2022, followed by Lithuania (29,000 tons), Argentina (27,500 tons), and Poland (14,000 tons).
In MY 2022/23, Wheat imports are forecast at 292,000 MT, up 1 percent compared to last year’s period. The 1 percent increase is related to the higher consumption of Wheat products and the larger volume of stocks. Wheat grain imports are projected to reach 240,000 MT, a 1 percent increase compared to the MY 2021/22. This increase will permit millers to produce more Wheat flour and semolina for domestic demand. Importers purchase Hard Red Winter and Hard Red Spring Wheat, which account for 40 percent of total imported Wheat grain from the United States. Wheat from Canada competes with the U.S. variety. In MY 2020/21, Wheat imports from Canada reached 93,799 MT, including Hard Red Winter and Durum Wheat. Haiti depends mostly on Durum Wheat for pasta production. Imports of Durum Wheat are not expected to decline as millers consider its good quality.
The USDA forecasts Wheat flour imports from the Dominican Republic to remain flat In MY 2022/23. Domestic millers continue to increase production to meet local demand while at the same time putting pressure on the Government to control products crossing the Haiti-Dominican border illegally. The USDA expects that in the short and medium-term, illegal trade of Wheat products across the Haiti-DR border will continue. Imports of Wheat flour in MY 2021/22 are expected to reach 50,000 MT, representing a 22 percent increase compared to 41,000 MT in MY 2020/21. This is due to increased imports from the Dominican Republic, which continues to export Wheat products to Haiti despite the Governmental restriction.
Other sources: USDA
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