ALGERIA – Wheat production in Algeria is expected to increase by 11% to reach 3 million tonnes at the end of the 2024/2025 campaign, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a recent report released on May 10

If the forecast succeeds, Algeria could overtake Morocco to become the 2nd wheat producer in North Africa after Egypt, for the 3rd time in the last 5 years after 2020/ 2021 and 2022/2023. 

In North Africa, Morocco is traditionally the second largest producer of wheat after Egypt. The country, which has however been facing a persistent drought for more than 5 years, could give way to Algeria in 2024/2025. 

The USDA attributes the positive prospects to the improvement in rainfall in the production areas of the centre and east of the country where precipitation was most frequent.

According to the USDA, the area sown is expected to remain unchanged at 1.8 million hectares while crop yield is expected to increase by 11% to 1.67 tonnes per hectare. 

Algeria is among the largest consumers of wheat in the world whose consumption accounts for 60% of the food ration in the country.

The country consumes an average of 11 million tonnes of wheat per year, making it the second consumer of the commodity in North Africa behind Egypt.

However, although domestic production has improved over the years, it remains weather-driven and does not meet domestic demand. Local production only meets a third of its needs.

Earlier, the USDA predicted wheat imports to Algeria to remain elevated at 8.7 million tonnes in 2024-25, the highest since 8.4 million tonnes in 2016-17.

The High import forecast was attributed to lower production as a result of below-average rain and soil moisture, which would create conditions for lower-than-average wheat and barley production for the 2024-25 marketing year, beginning in July.

The USDA report shows a harvest falling by 40% to 2.5 million tonnes and a contraction of 300,000 hectares in cultivated areas. 

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