Who Is The World's Largest Importer Of Wheat?

The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is Iran according to the USDA.

They will import 8.5 MMT of wheat in the marketing year July 1-June 30 2008/09, just edging out Egypt (with imports of 8.2 MMT) for top slot. That's around 6.5% of the entire global wheat trade.

One of the most striking things about this is that just four years ago Iran announced to the world that it had achieved its aim of becoming self-sufficient in wheat.

Equally striking is that this means that Iran's imports in 2008/09 will be a staggering 4150% up on the previous year.

Production in Iran for 2008/09 fell by a third on the previous year to 10 MMT the USDA say. Early indications for the 2009/10 crop are that the country will produce 13.5 MMT of wheat in the coming season, where the cereal is a major staple of the country's 70-million strong population's bread-and-rice-based diet.

Production prospects here in the months ahead is certainly something that warrants keeping an eye on.