MOROCCO – Morocco has has four months worth of soft wheat reserves, according to the head of the country’s National Federation of Mills Mr. Moulay Abdelkader Alaoui.
Alaoui added that the stockpile would further be further boosted through the import of 25 million quintals of wheat as earlier communicated.
Alaoui also commented on Morocco’s supply markets, stressing Russia’s importance as one of the key suppliers of wheat and cereals.
Last year, the country suffered its worst drought in decades, leading to an estimated cereal production of nearly 3.3 million tonnes from the 10.4 million tonnes produced in 2021, a drop of more than 60%
In addition, like other wheat importers, the country has been grappling with record prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which impacted the global grain trade.
However, in a bid to mitigate the adverse effects of wheat shortage, the government has set raft measures expected to provide a much-needed boost to Morocco’s agricultural industry, safeguarding food security and strengthening the economy.
According to Morocco News, the federation’s president said that reopening doors for imports from Russia will contribute to strengthening Morocco’s position as well as diversifying its sources of wheat imports.
In June, The National Professional Office for Grains published a circular with a program that will support importers in covering the difference between the cost of wheat and the reference import price of $27 per quintal on a monthly basis.
However, earlier this month, the National Interprofessional Office of Cereals and Legumes (ONICL), Morocco’s market watchdog for grains, announced that it is revising down grain subsidies for imported wheat in a bid to incentivize wheat importers to turn to cost-efficient grain suppliers.
“We would like to inform the importers of soft wheat that starting from August 1st, 2023, the average cost price used for calculating the lump-sum premium will be based on the average cost prices of the lowest origin among Germany, Argentina, France, and the USA,” the statement read
This comes as Morocco continues recovering from a severe drought recorded in 2021 with new data, however, indicating a recovery in the cereal sector in the coming years.
Data from the Global Agricultural Information Network, published by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture, said that Morocco is expected to produce approximately 3 million tonnes of common wheat, 1 million tonnes of durum wheat, and 1.3 million tonnes of barley during the upcoming year.