Iraq Plans to Become a Net Grain Exporter by 2017
Iraq is currently in talks in London with international inspection companies regarding gaining classification for its domestic wheat for sales overseas according to the country’s national Grain Board.
Iraq historically consumes between 4.5 and 4.6 million tons of wheat per year, according to Grain Board figures, and this season, the country has harvested 2 million tons – enough to supply the country to the end of July.
Currently a wheat importer from countries including the U.S., Canada, and Brazil, Iraq didn’t specify any specific commodity exchange for the sale of its wheat, but government officials have stated that the country plans to become a net exporter of wheat within two years, even as the country struggles to regain its production centers seized by the group, Islamic State, since June of last year.
Although the beginning of wheat exports would indicate a welcome diversification of Iraq’s economy away from oil, which contributes up to 95% of the country’s official budget, the ministry did not discuss details of how the country will increase its wheat production to a point allowing for exports by 2017.