Jordan Enlarges Corn Storage Facilities
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Jordan’s Corn production is negligible, with annual production totaling less than 10,000 MT. Domestically produced Corn is mainly used for human consumption. Due to water scarcity, agriculture has been declining as a component of the overall economy for years. In MY 2023/24, Corn consumption is forecast at 705 TMT, a decrease from the USDA forecast in MY 2022/23 consumption of 785 TMT, driven by fears of FMD outbreak, specifically in dairy cattle. The poultry industry is optimistic about the local demand outlook and is trying to meet local demand. The explosive growth has resulted in three consecutive years of oversupply of poultry with persistently low prices that put many small and medium-sized farmers out of business.
Jordan’s poultry industry is considered the most significant agri-business sector, with an investment value of around $4.5 billion. Local broiler production is currently around 200 TMT per year, while egg production increased more than 60 percent over the last two years, producing almost a billion eggs. Aqua agriculture is relatively small but overgrowing.
Poultry farmers store only a nominal amount of Corn on a farm to meet their monthly needs. The fear of market instability due to Russia’s war on Ukraine increased the Government of Jordan’s interest in building adequate grain storage. Some investors have recently enlarged their storage facilities. Corn in Jordan is imported and distributed through private sector traders who usually unload Corn directly to trucks that deliver it immediately to dairy and poultry farms.
Jordan Enlarges Corn Storage Facilities
Jordan imports up to 98 percent of consumable items from abroad, including wheat, barley, sugar, rice, powdered milk, tea, coffee, Corn, vegetable oil (excluding olive oil), cheese, chickpeas, vermicelli, and lentils. Post forecasts import at 700 TMT in MY 2023/24, a one-third decrease compared to MY 2022/23; U.S. origin Corn imports are forecast at 100-200 TMT. After Post engaged with the Government of Jordan to improve the sampling and testing of Corn into a more trade-friendly system, the Government of Jordan’s interagency committee was formed to review the current system. The result was relaxation on Broken Kernels Percentage (BKP) and accepting FGIS certificate on BKP. The shortage of supply has incentivized the decree. Should the process go in the right direction, it would increase imports of U.S. Corn.
The Jordanian market is still dominated by Argentina, supplying 60 percent of all Corn, with the United States giving only 5 percent. The Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement no longer provides an advantage for U.S. Corn, as all imported Corn is exempt from tariffs. Additionally, South America’s Corn, although less desirable by farmers due to their own beliefs; is less nutritious, yet it comes in a more desirable form; an apparent, non-dusty grain. Argentine exporters are more versatile, accommodating shipments of 10-15 TMT that the market requires.
There are no restrictions on Corn trade in Jordan, and specifications for Corn are similar to U.S. standards, except for the quality trait, BKP, considered a basic in Jordan. Post recently met with the GOJ on the BKP issue, and the Ministry of Agriculture agreed to begin accepting FGIS certificates for U.S. Corn shipments. Corn consignments that exceed the established maximum residue limits for aflatoxins, equivalent to U.S. standards, will be rejected.
U.S. agriculture exports have occasionally been detained at Jordanian Customs for failing to meet local requirements, causing hardship for exporters and importers alike. It is imperative to work with a local partner and the relevant authorities to ensure all requirements are met before exportation.
Other sources: USDA
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