TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Weather conditions are expected to lead to an 8.2% drop in Israel’s wheat production to 90 million tons in 2022-23, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service ( USDA).
The 2022-23 growing season started with late rains and almost no rain in some of the wheat growing areas. The increase in production in 2021-22 was attributed to good rainfall during the mild winter without extreme weather conditions.
Total wheat imports are estimated at 1.74 million tonnes, a slight increase from the 1.7 million tonnes imported a year ago. Most feed wheat is imported from Ukraine.
“The amount of imported wheat and its source could change due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine which could influence wheat supply and prices,” the USDA said.
Despite an annual population growth of 2%, consumption remains stable. Consumption is estimated at 1.74 million tonnes, an increase of 32,000 tonnes.
A growing number of consumers in Israel are looking for white flour alternatives, such as whole wheat and gluten-free products, which are considered healthier.
Local milling wheat production covers a maximum of 15% of annual consumption. US wheat market share is expected to increase to 150,000 tons in 2022-23, mainly due to political tensions around the Black Sea, which could influence wheat prices and availability.