Dominican Republic continues to rely on wheat imports

by World Grain Staff
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Wheat consumption in the Dominican Republic during 2016-17 is forecast at 405,000 tonnes, with imports remaining strong at 530,000 tonnes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in an April 1 report. The Dominican Republic does not produce wheat. It is completely dependent on imports to supply the domestic market. The Dominican Republic continues to have one of the highest per capita wheat and wheat products consumption rates in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.

The country is home to a large milling industry and imports almost all of its wheat from the U.S. and Canada. A small quantity of wheat from Russia was also imported during calendar year 2015. Currently, the Dominican Republic boasts a daily milling capacity of around 3,320 tonnes with a current average utilization of 60%, divided among six different processors, the report said.

Corn is forecast to remain steady at 1.22 million tonnes during 2016-17. Even though U.S. corn has regained its leadership in the market, U.S. market share declined during 2014-15 to 48% of total imports. This trend is expected to continue during 2016-17 due to higher perceived quality and increased availability of Brazilian corn, combined with the willingness of Dominican importers to pay a premium for that quality. The Dominican Republic continues to have one of the highest per capita wheat and wheat products consumption rates in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.

Rice continues to be one of the most important agricultural products grown in the Dominican Republic. Production of milled rice for 2016-17 is forecast at 530,000 tonnes and is expected to remain stable. According to national estimates, the country has approximately 30,500 rice producers, nearly 250,000 people are involved in the production, processing and marketing of rice, and the sector contributes approximately 5% to Agricultural Gross Domestic Product.

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