Hubs and Communities: A Structural Analysis of MENA’s Wheat Network

Hubs and Communities: A Structural Analysis of MENA’s Wheat Network
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Listing Type: Publications

Ghada Ahmed | Danny Hamrick

Since the mid-2000s, many MENA countries have shifted to an import-based strategy to meet their food security needs, making the region more dependent on global food trade networks. This brief examines wheat trade trends and potential implications through a series of social network analyses. We limit our focus to wheat, a critical crop for food security in many MENA countries. Our analysis reveals that many MENA countries are importing more and they tend to form new ties with established exporters, resulting in distinct communities of export hubs and their importing partners. We also find over time a trend towards consolidation in the region, with Russia increasingly acting as a lead exporter for the entire region. We also find evidence that sub-regional differences (e.g., the degree of dependence on major export hubs) are shrinking.

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