PAKISTAN – Pakistan is forecasted to achieve a record wheat production of 31.4 million tonnes in the 2024-25 marketing year, as reported by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture. 

This significant increase represents an 11% rise over the previous year’s total of 28.2 million tonnes, primarily driven by a notable boost in output from the Punjab province.

The FAS attributes this bumper crop to several key factors, including expanded planting areas and higher yields. 

Favorable growing conditions throughout the season, ample irrigation water, and the increased use of certified seeds have all contributed to this record-breaking production. This marks the second consecutive year that Pakistan has achieved a record wheat output.

Despite this achievement, recent policy changes by the Pakistani government may impact future wheat production. The government has ended its longstanding practice of purchasing wheat from farmers at a minimum guaranteed support price, leading to a sharp decline in wheat prices. 

The Pakistani government’s sudden decision to end the minimum guaranteed support price for wheat, made without prior notice or consultation with producers, has had an immediate impact. 

This has caused wheat prices to drop 30% below the government support price as farmers were compelled to sell their wheat on the open market, a situation that needs to be addressed promptly.

Historically, the government has been the largest purchaser of wheat from farmers. The recent policy shift, allowing private sector flour millers to import wheat duty-free, has made imported wheat cheaper than domestic wheat. 

Whether this policy change represents a permanent shift in wheat price policy or is specific to the 2024-25 crop year remains uncertain.

The growing population and a strong preference for wheat-based products continue to drive demand for wheat in Pakistan. Domestic consumption in the 2024-25 marketing year is expected to reach a record 31.2 million tonnes, reflecting the sustained and increasing demand for this staple crop.

Meanwhile, according to the Financial Times, Pakistan is selling record amounts of rice to global markets as it profits from trade restrictions introduced last year by India, the world’s biggest exporter. 

According to official statistics, rice exports from Pakistan, the fourth-largest exporter, surged to almost 5.6MMT in the 11 months to the end of May, up nearly 60% from the same period a year earlier.

The boom follows India’s decision to impose export restrictions on certain types of rice last year. This was an effort to curb rising domestic prices ahead of parliamentary elections after a volatile monsoon disrupted production and spurred fears of a supply shortage.

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