UK – World wheat flour trade is expected to increase slightly in 2019-20, according to the initial estimate from the International Grains Council (IGC).

According to a World Grain report, the IGC estimated world trade at 16.4 million tonnes, up from 16.2 million tonnes in 2018-19.

“Because of expectations for better local harvests, some retreat in shipments to Near East Asia is assumed, including to Iraq and Syria,” the IGC said.

“An improved domestic crop might also contain Afghanistan’s import needs, but modest recoveries in imports are assumed for a number of other markets in Far East Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa.”

In Far East Asia, imports are expected to increase year-over-year for Indonesia (up 49,000 tonnes); South Korea (up 25,000 tonnes); Philippines (up 30,000 tonnes); and Thailand (up 15,000 tonnes).

In Africa, Angola is projected up 100,000 tonnes from the previous year while Somalia is estimated up 40,000 tonnes.

For 2018-19, estimates for world wheat flour trade increased month-over-month but are still down 4% from the previous year.

“On the basis of reported trade to date, there is continued evidence that volumes are lagging the year-earlier pace to many destinations, particularly to Far East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” the IGC said.

“In contrast, shipments to Near East Asia are stronger than anticipated, especially to Syria and Yemen.”

In Far East Asia, China is down 85,000 tonnes year-over-year to 400,000 tonnes. Other significant decreases were seen in Philippines, which is down 49,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes and Thailand, which is down 66,000 tonnes to 160,000 tonnes.

In Africa, the most significant drop was reported in Somalia, which is down 124,000 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes.

Significant increases were seen in Yemen, with estimates up 314,000 tonnes to a total of 600,000 tonnes.

Syria is up 100,000 tonnes to a total of 600,000 tonnes.

Exports by Turkey appear to be on course to surpass the year before, with an increase of 100,000 tonnes to 5.1 million tonnes, including increased volumes to Near East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The forecast for E.U. exports was lowered and total shipments are expected to reach 650,000 tonnes in 2018-19, with reductions to areas where Turkey has made gains.