Saudi Arabia corn 2018/19 consumption to climb 12%: USDA

Saudi Arabia’s corn consumption is estimated to climb 12% to 4.45 million mt during 2018/19, taking a larger share of the country's feed demand as domestic barley production and imports fall, according to USDA.
Most of that corn volume, or 4.4 million mt, will be imported as domestic production remains small, increasing from 3.95 million mt for the current campaign ending in September 2018.
Corn is predominately used as feed stock in Saudi Arabia which has seen a “continued expansion in animal feed processing facilities and domestic poultry farms,” which led to the increase in “demand for feed corn over the past six years,” the USDA said.
Barley imports are expected to decline by 300,000 mt to 7.5 million mt for 2018/19, mainly driven by the higher availability of more competitively priced feed.
At the same time, the Saudi government has stopped its domestic feed barley production “to conserve scarce water resources, as the crop is 100% irrigated,” while maintaining domestic barley production for human consumption.
About 59% of corn imports come from the US, with Argentina picking up 33%, and Brazil the rest.
Saudi Arabia’s wheat imports for 2018/19 are set to remain flat at 3.3 million mt, building the nation’s stocks as consumption continues to drop from to 3.4 million mt in 2018/19.
“Total wheat consumption is projected to decline over the next couple of years due to the likely departure of hundreds of thousands of expatriates,” the USDA concluded.
Saudi Arabia is currently in the process of implementing schemes such as the expatriate dependent fee, stricter "Saudization" measures, and a national campaign aimed at expelling convicts.

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