Wheat: A Tiny Seed that Feeds the World

Date Posted: 2022-10-07 11:41:30

Wheat: A Tiny Seed that Feeds the World

Nature is kind and fair for offering unique features to every plant. Every plant has its endowed qualities, which separate it from others. Like many other crops, wheat has distinctive features and qualities. Among many features, its extensive cultivation and ubiquity stand out. Wheat is pervasive for it to have found its way into every society as a staple food. Such a rare acceptance among consumers is quite astonishing and thus signals economic value and importance to investors in the wheat industry. 


Wheat is the world's most widely cultivated crop, having the most acreage among growing crops, second only to maize. Wheat farms covered approximately 220.4 million hectares in 2014. This figure accounts for approximately 10.81% of total cropland available in the same year. The crop ranks fourth in terms of cash crop popularity, trailing only sugar cane, maize, and rice.

Asia is widely recognized as the world's leading producer of wheat. China produces the most wheat in the world. The country produced 134.2 million tons of this crop in 2020. In the same year, India harvested 107.9 million tons of wheat, while Russia produced 85.9 million tons. The United States contributed approximately 49.7 million tons of wheat volume to the global total of 760 million tons in the year. The volume of wheat produced increased to 772 million metric tonnes in the 2020/2021 season. Crop production is a highly profitable business. Analysts estimate that a wheat farmer could earn an average of $56,000 per hectare of land.

Russia, Canada, the United States, France, and Ukraine held the top positions in wheat exports in 2020. Russia traded wheat for US$10.1 billion, while Canada traded for US$7.13 billion. France's wheat transaction was approximately $4.76 billion, and Ukraine exported approximately $4.61 billion in wheat last year.


The wheat market generated well over $170 billion in revenue in 2014. This figure places wheat among the top ten crops in terms of gross production value. The gross production value of this crop had risen to around US$180 billion by 2020. Wheat was the 64th most traded commodity in the preceding year, with a total trading value of more than US$51 billion, according to the OECD. Analysts predict a 4.5% CAGR in the global wheat market from 2022 to 2027. The global wheat flour market is expected to be worth approximately US$160.66 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.95% to US$210.77 billion by 2028.


Wheat is consumed by almost every member of the human race. Wheat is a popular food in China, the European Union, India, Russia, and the United States. China consumed more than 148 million metric tons of wheat in 2021/2022, according to the most recent data. The crop was consumed in 107.7 million metric tonnes by the European Union, while India consumed approximately 104.2 million metric tonnes. As of 2017, wheat consumption had increased by 25% in the previous 15 years.


Wheat is a staple food in each of these countries, and the locals consume it in various forms to meet their dietary needs. Bread, pasta, and baked foods such as cakes, crackers, cookies, and pastries are among the most common. Its nutritional value and suitability for confectionery products attract customers. Wheat contains approximately 12% water, 70% carbohydrates, 12% protein, 2% fat, 1.8% minerals, and 2.2% crude fibers. Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and trace amounts of vitamin A are also found in the crop.


Without a doubt, Asia Pacific would be a new market for wheat. Given the current breakdown and cracks in Russia-Ukraine diplomatic ties, the world is experiencing a wheat shortage that is already having an impact on crop prices. The Financial Times recently reported a 6% increase in wheat prices as a result of India's export ban. All of these instances are disguised opportunities for profit-seeking and visionary investors to profit from the market of a tiny seed that feeds the world.