ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Record wheat production of 31.4 million tonnes is forecast for Pakistan in the 2024-25 marketing year, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

The FAS said that, based on the Government of Pakistan’s official data, wheat output is projected to increase by 11% over last year’s total of 28.2 million tonnes. It said the surge in production is primarily attributable to the increase in outturn in the Punjab province. 

“This year’s record production is based on significant increases in both area and yield, and it marks the second consecutive year of record wheat output,” the FAS said. “Good growing conditions through the season, sufficient irrigation water, and increased use of certified seed fueled the bumper crop.”

However, with the Pakistani government’s recent decision to end its decades-long practice of buying wheat from farmers at a minimum guaranteed support price, wheat prices declined sharply, which likely will lead to reduced plantings for the next crop year.

“In the past, (the government) had been the largest buyer from farmers,” the FAS said. “The decision not to procure was made without any prior announcement or consultations with producers. Farmers sold wheat on the open market, and wheat prices dropped 30% below the government support price.”

The government’s decision came after it began allowing private sector flour millers to import wheat duty free, making imported wheat cheaper than prevailing domestic prices.

“It is still unclear whether this year’s policy signifies a permanent liberalization in wheat price policy or just a change for the 2024-25 crop,” the FAS said.

Population growth and consumers’ preference for wheat-based products continue to drive demand higher in Pakistan, with domestic consumption in 2024-25 expected to climb to a record 31.2 million tonnes.