Wheat production in Central Asia is expected to be over 65.9 million metric tons (MMT) for the 2019/20 marketing year (MY), almost four percent higher than last year and steady with the recent five-year average. Regional supply, however, is four percent below the five-year average due to low regional opening stocks after below-average production in MY 2018/19. As a result, regional MY 2019/20 net surplus is expected to be 30 percent below the five-year average (Figure 1). On aggregate, the region will still produce a net surplus, despite decreased production in Kazakhstan, a main regional exporter (Figure 2-3). Price trends are expected to be normal as markets in Central Asia are well integrated with global markets. A regional overview of typical regional wheat production and market behavior can be found in the Central Asia Regional Wheat Market Fundamentals Summary.
Trade flows are expected to remain normal despite the reduction in regional net surplus. Afghanistan will continue to meet the majority of its import requirement with Kazakhstani wheat (Figure 4). Wheat prices have been relatively low since 2015 across Central Asia and on global markets. Export prices have decreased recently due to ongoing wheat harvests in Northern Hemisphere surplus-producing countries. Export prices are slightly above the five-year average in Kazakhstan but remain competitive on the global market (Figure 5-6).
Prices are projected to trend slightly above the MY 2018/19 prices, remaining at or above-average in most countries in the region (Figure 10-11).
Wheat production in Afghanistan will be near average, following below-average production in MY 2018/19. As detailed in the Afghanistan Food Security Outlook Update, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to emerge in many areas during the lean season as many households have below-average incomes and are still recovering from the 2018 drought.