World Sorghum and Millet Market
06 June 20148 min reading
Today, sorghum and millet are two of the most basic foods for the poor and rural people in the dry regions that are poor in terms of other grains. When the production regions of these products are reviewed, it is seen that Africa, Central America and South Asia are at the front. Used in various fields such as human food, feed and biofuel; these products are an important food source for the African countries that are especially poor in terms of other grain products.
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents in addition to the South West Pacific and Australasia.
One species, Sorghum bicolor, is an important world crop, used for food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or “sorghum molasses”), fodder, the production of alcoholic beverages, as well as biofuels. Most varieties are drought tolerant and heat tolerant, and are especially important in arid regions where the grain is staple or one of the staples for poor and rural people. They form an important component of pastures in many tropical regions.
Evaluated with the same standards of corn and even being the other name of corn in Turkey, millet is a small-seeded cereal crop or grain, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. Having different varieties, millets do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult production environments such as those at risk of drought.
The millets include species in several genera, mostly in the subfamily Panicoideae, except for finger millet. The most widely cultivated species in order of worldwide production are pearl millet, foxtail millet, proso/common/ broom corn/hog millet or white millet and finger millet. Especially pearl millet is one of the two most important plants grown in semi-arid, poor and less productive agricultural regions of Africa and Southeastern Asia.
Millet that can be used as human food and animal feed is used in bread making in some countries including some cities of Turkey.
WORLD SORGHUM AND MILLET PRODUCTION
Sorghum is an important food crop in Africa, Central America, and South Asia and is the “fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world”. America, Nigeria, Mexico, India and Argentina are the most important production regions. Averagely 4-5 million tons of sorghum is produced yearly in each of these countries. The sorghum amount in the whole world is between 55 and 60 million tons. According to the data of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service USDA; world sorghum production, which was 57,2 million tons in 2009/10 season, reached to 61,1 million tons in 2010/11 season. Declining to 57 million tons in 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, world sorghum production reached to 60,1 million tons in 2013/14 season. USDA estimates that world sorghum production will reach to 62,8 million tons in 2014/15 season. According to the data of 2013/14 season; world’s largest sorghum producer is U.S. with 9,8 million tons. Ranking first in world sorghum production with 6,4 million tons in 2011/12 season, Mexico dropped to second place after U.S. with 6,1 million tons in 2012/13 season and with 7,3 million tons in 2013/14 season. Nigeria, India, Argentina and Ethiopia follow U.S. and Mexico in world sorghum production. Nigeria realized 6,5 million tons of sorghum production, India realized 5,5 million tons, Argentina realized 4,2million tons and Ethiopia realized 4 million tons in 2013/14 season. Total sorghum production of these 6 countries represented 62,9% of world sorghum production in 2013714 season.
Today millet is an important grain product for the developing countries in Asia and Africa with semi-arid tropical climate. According to the data of USDA; world millet production, which was 32,5 million tons in 2010/11 season, declined to 27,4 million tons in 2011/12 season and reached to 30,4 million tons with an increase of approximately 3 million tons in 2012/13 season. USDA projects that world millet production, which decreased to 29 million tons in 2013/14 season, will reach to 30,3 million tons level again in 2014/15 season.
Millet is intensely produced in India, Nigeria and Niger. These three countries realize 63,7% of world millet production. Solely India realized 10,6 million tons of 30 million-ton world millet production in 2013/14 season. Ranking second after India, Nigeria realized 5 million tons of millet production in 2013/14 season; while Niger realized 2,9 million tons of production.
WORLD SORGHUM AND MILLET CONSUMPTION
Sorghum can be used in different parts of the world for various purposes such as the production of food, feed, biofuel and alcoholic beverages. Mexico ranks first among world’s largest sorghum consumer countries. 8-10 million tons of sorghum is consumed every year in Mexico although the consumption has decreased in the recent years. According to the data of USDA; Mexico’s sorghum consumption, which was 9,7 million tons in 2009/10 season, declined to 8,1 million tons in 2011/12 season and to 7,5 million tons in 2013/14 season. According to the projection of USDA, Mexico’s sorghum consumption will continue to decrease in 2014/15 season and be realized around 7,3 million tons level. However; despite this decline, Mexico will continue to be the world’s largest sorghum consumer in 2014/15 season. Nigeria, China, India, U.S. and Ethiopia follow Mexico in world sorghum consumption. According to the USDA data; Nigeria realized 6,4 million tons of sorghum consumption, China realized 5,7 million tons, India realized 5,4 million tons, U.S. realized 5,2 million tons and Ethiopia realized 4million tons in 2013/14 season.
World’s largest consumption in millet used mostly as human food and feed is India that also ranks first in the production. India’s millet consumption is slightly higher than the production. Despite the 10,6 million-ton production, 10,7 million tons of millet consumption was realized in 2013/14 season. Nigeria, Niger, China, Mali and Burkina Faso follow India in millet consumption. Nigeria realized 5 million tons of millet consumption, Niger realized 2,9 million tons, Mali realized 1,2 million tons and Burkina Faso realized 5, 2 million tons in 2013/14 season. It is projected that this ranking in millet consumption of these countries won’t change but India’s consumption will slightly decrease and consumption of Niger and Mali will increase slightly. 74,5% (22,7 million tons) of 29,1 million-ton world millet consumption is realized by these 6 countries.
WORLD SORGHUM AND MILLET TRADE
According to the USDA data; the sorghum amount subjected to the world trade in 2013/14 season was 7 million tons. Ranking first in world sorghum export, U.S. realized 4,7 million tons of 7 million-ton export by itself. Argentina with 1,2 million tons, Australia with 700 thousand tons, Ukraine with 150 thousand tons and Ethiopia with 75 thousand tons followed U.S. in world sorghum export. China ranks first in the imports. China realized 3,4 million tons of 7 million-ton world sorghum import in 2013/14 season by itself. Japan with 1,6 million tons, Columbia with 250 thousand tons, EU and Mexico with 200 thousand tons followed China in world sorghum import. While Mexico ranked first in world sorghum import in 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons and second in 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, it dropped to the fourth place in 2013/14 season.
Millet is a product generally consumed in the region where it is produced. Thus, the millet amount subjected to the world trade is significantly low. USDA doesn’t have open data for world millet trade. In the world millet trade announced by UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO with formal, semi-formal and forecast data, import and export amounts are not equivalent. FAO’s the most current data belongs to the year 2011. While the export was 385 thousand tons, the import was 416 thousand tons in 2011. It is an important factor in this difference that the data cannot be obtained in a healthy way.
According to the data of FAO, India ranks first in world millet export. U.S. with 60 thousand tons, Russia with 54 thousand tons followed India that exported 132 thousand tons of millet in 2011. Sudan ranks first in imports. Pakistan with 33 thousand tons, Belgium with 32 thousand tons and Germany with 19 thousand tons followed Sudan that imported 67 thousand tons of millet in 2011.
SORGHUM AND MILLET PRODUCTION IN TURKEY
Sorghum, which is not known well in Turkey, is produced mostly for feed and the production amounts are significantly low. According to the production amount compiled by Turkish Statistical Institute since 2004; Turkey realizes sorghum production between 100 and 300 tons every year.
Compared to sorghum, millet production is more common in Turkey. The most important millet species cultivated in Turkey are vulgare, sand-sorghum and djin sorghum. According to the data of TUIK; millet cultivation land, which was 35 thousand decares in 2001, reached to 40 thousand decares as the highest level in the last 10 years in 2003.
However; declining in the following years, millet cultivation land decreased to 25 thousand decares in 2013. The decline in the cultivation land also reflected on the production. According to TUIK data; Turkey’s millet production, which was 6 thousand 700 tons in 2001, remained above 7 thousand tons until 2006 and declined to 6 thousand 900 tons in 2006. Increasing over 7 thousand tons, production decreased to 4 thousand 759 tons in 2012. TUIK announced the millet amount realized in 2013 around as 5 thousand 906 tons.
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