New Telegraph

Russian War: Food Crisis Looms As Flour Millers Search For N281bn To Import Wheat

Following Russia attack on Ukraine’s grain facility, destroying 60,000 metric tonnes and damaging considerable parts of the grain export infrastructure, wheat prices have risen sharply in the global markets, hitting $284 per tonne. With this, Flour Millers Association of Nigeria (FMAN) has raised concern that it will need about $340.8 million (N281.2 billion) to im- port about 1.2 million metric tonnes (MT) of wheat, being the deficit gap from the one million (MT) local production.

The association bemoaned that the exchange rate volatility, with dollar going for N825, was already stifling wheat importation amid protracted dollar scarcity in the country. A reliable source and a key FMAN member told New Telegraph yesterday that the soaring wheat prices at the global markets was not good for Nigeria’s food sector, say- ing getting dollars to import wheat was posing challenges and creating gaps in meeting the country’s wheat demands.

New Telegraph correspondent gathered from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that in the last four years, about N2.2 trillion had been spent by FMAN to import wheat to meet the 1.2 million MT deficit. Besides, wheat prices on the European stock exchange soared by 8.2 percent on Wednesday from the previous day, to N253.75 (£220; $284) per tonne, while corn prices were up 5.4 percent.

US wheat futures jumped 8.5 percent – their highest daily rise since just after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. To make matter worse, FMAN pointed out that it could only sourced 10,000MT of wheat locally in last year, out of the one million local production amidst insecurity volatility, high cost of production, low yields among others. In addition, the association stated the above agric challenges have been frustrating wheat development domestically and availability of wheat production in the country.

Specifically, FMAN stressed it is very cheap to im- port wheat commodity from abroad into Nigeria, than buying local ones at astronomical prices for production of wheat for consumption by Nigerians

 

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