Wheat is a widely cultivated crop that is grown for its seed. It is a cereal grain that is a staple food in many parts of the world. The wheat is a grass of the genus Triticum. With a protein content of 13%, wheat is a major source of vegetal protein in the human diet. Wheat is a source of dietary fiber and multiple nutrients. Research has shown that long-term consumption of wheat helps to lower the risk of several chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and coronary heart disease. According to archeological studies, wheat cultivation was started first in the Fertile Crescent region around 9600 BCE.
Production Of Wheat
The global production of wheat was 749 million metric tons in 2016. In 2014, 47% of the total global wheat production was limited to only four countries, China, India, Russia, and the US. With a production of 126.2 millions of tons, China led the world in wheat production in 2014.
Top Wheat Exporting Countries
Wheat is traded in the international market between several countries. The European Union exports the largest quantity of wheat, flour, and wheat products. In the year 2015/2016, the European Union exported goods worth 33 million metric tons. Russia is the single largest exporter of wheat in the world. The country exported wheat, flour, and wheat products amounting to 24.5 million metric tons in 2015/2016. Only four decades ago, Russia depended on the US to import wheat and corn to offset shortfalls in its own harvests. However, over the past decade, the country has managed to emerge as the biggest single source of wheat in the world. Large proportions of Russia's wheat and wheat product exports goes to Egypt, the world's biggest buyer of these products. Russian wheat export to other countries like Nigeria, Indonesia, and Bangladesh is also increasing. The boom in Russia is triggered by factors such as government support, rich soil, and proximity to ports in the Black Sea. Canada, the US, and Australia are the three next top exporters of wheat, flour, and wheat products in the world.
Top Wheat Importing Countries
Egypt is the world's leading importer of wheat in the world. In 2015/2016, the country imported wheat, flour, and wheat products amounting to 11.5 metric tons. What makes Egypt the world's largest wheat buyer? Bread has been the most heavily subsidized good in the country since the 1952 revolution. The Egyptian cuisine is heavily dependent on wheat and wheat products. Egypt is not only the largest importer of wheat but also the largest wheat consumer, and bread eater per capita in the world. The heavy dependency on wheat has some negative effects on the country's economy as it strains the national reserves required to import wheat from foreign nations. Also, excessive reliance on wheat triggers problems of obesity and provides a less than ideal nutrition despite high caloric intake. However, attempts to reduce the subsidies on wheat have been met with vehement rebellions by the people of the country, and thus Egypt continues to exports massive quantities of wheat annually. Indonesia, Algeria, and Turkey follow next with imports of wheat, flour, and wheat products amounting to 9.1, 8.1 and 7.1 million metric tons, respectively.