ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Due to the Pakistani government’s recent decision to subsidize wheat exports, Pakistan wheat exports in 2018-19 have been revised upward to 1.7 million tonnes, according to a Dec. 18 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA had forecast wheat exports at 1 million tonnes in May. It noted that the number was revised upward after the government in November granted approval for the export of an additional 500,000 tonnes of wheat with a subsidy of $105 per tonne.

“Pakistan has so far exported about 800,000 tonnes of subsidized wheat during the current marketing year, excluding Afghanistan,” the USDA said. “The wheat is mainly going to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and some African countries.”

The USDA said exports to Afghanistan have been declining over the years mainly due to stricter border control measures.

Pakistan is forecast to export between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan during the current marketing year, the USDA said.

The USDA forecasts Pakistan’s 2018-19 wheat production at 25.1 million tonnes, down from 26.6 million tonnes the previous marketing year.