Wheat importation by Nigeria is defying the President Muhammadu Buhari regime’s trend of cutting down on import of food crops.
Data released by the United States Department for Agriculture shows a 367,000 metric tonne increase in purchase of various wheat brands from the US.
The country purchased 936,000mt of wheat as at October 2019, as against 569,000 bought at the same time last year.
Inversely, America’s economic rival China, has drastically reduced its import of wheat which is a strategic commodity for the US economy.
The USDA figures, which are current as at mid-October 2019, shows a 14 per cent surge in exports.
On all brands of wheat exported by the US highlighted by Thefencepost, imports from Nigeria dropped on only a grade called durum.
The variant favoured by Nigerian importers is known as Hard Red Winter.
The country more than doubled its importation of the brand to 567,000 as at October 10, 2019.
It was second in the purchase of HRW to US’s neighbour – Mexico.
The next brand Nigerian importers preferred is Soft Red winter.
Again, its volume of import rose by 50 per cent to 142,000mt.
Nigeria was once again second to Mexico.
The other product favoured by Nigeria was Hard White wheat.
Nigeria’s interest in Hard White grew by nine per cent to 123,000mt.
Its purchase of Durum however, decreased by 58 per cent to 28,000 as at Oct 11, 2019.
Besides the US, Nigeria also imports as much wheat as it exports its citizens to Canada.
The country has since 2007 tried unsuccessfully to diversify away from the use of wheat in flour making to cassava where it has competitive advantage.
The Buhari administration has been silent on the implementation of the High Quality Cassava Flour.