Uzbekistan removes import taxes for wheat flour

03 February 20222 min reading

Uzbekistan government has removed its wheat flour imports taxes to 31 December 2022. The country imports on average about 35 percent of its domestic consumption needs of wheat, mostly from neighboring Kazakhstan.

Uzbekistan annually imports up to 500,000 tons of Kazakhstani wheat to process and export as flour to Afghanistan. In Kazakhstan, export prices of milling wheat increased sharply between June and October 2021, reaching eight-year high levels, and declined in November and December but remained about 20 percent above their year-earlier levels.

Wheat is a vital food in Central Asian countries and is one of the strategically important crops. It provides most of the calories in the diets of the regional people. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are countries with high dependence on imports and consumption of bread per capita.

According to FAO, in the 2021/22 marketing year (July/June), Uzbekistan’s import requirements of wheat (including wheat grain and wheat flour), accounting on average for over 90 percent of the total cereal purchases, are forecast at 3.5 million tonnes, about 20 percent above the five‑year average level. Imports of wheat flour have declined by more than 70 percent between 2011/12 and 2020/21, while purchases of high-quality wheat grain, mainly sourced from Kazakhstan, have increased due to improved local milling capacities. Once the domestic needs of wheat flour are satisfied, the exceeding production is usually exported to neighboring countries.

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