BEIJING, CHINA — Australia has accounted for 63% of China’s wheat imports during the first 10 months of 2022, compared to 28% over all of 2021 and just 15% in 2020, Bloomberg reported, citing Chinese customs data and its own calculations.

China’s imports of Australian wheat reached 4.97 million tonnes in January through October, the highest ever in data that goes back to 2004. 

Global wheat supplies have been constrained due to weather woes in major producing regions and as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February upended trade flows out of the Black Sea region. Russia and Ukraine have in recent years combined for about 30% of global wheat exports.

In its October update, the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture projected Australia’s wheat production for 2022-23 at 34 million tonnes, down from the record-breaking 2021-22 crop of 36.3 million tonnes but still a third straight bumper crop and second largest on record.

Australia is expected to send 27 million tonnes of wheat to world markets in 2022-23, down slightly from an estimated 28 million tonnes in 2021-22, FAS Canberra noted. Australia has for many years had over 50 wheat export destinations and of these there are nine core customers that over the last five years have consistently accounted for 70% to 75% of all exports.