ALGERIA – Russia has emerged to be the highest supplier of wheat to Algeria in the first 6 months of the 2023/2024 marketing campaign, beating the European Union (EU) countries.

Igor Pavensky, head of the agricultural market analysis department of Rusagrotrans, Russia’s leading agricultural freight forwarder revealed this on February 12.

According to the report read by Pavensky, between July 2023 and January 2024, the country of the Tsars exported 1.6 million tonnes of wheat to the Algerian market, or 20% more than the stock shipped during the same period a year earlier (1 .33 million tonnes). 

With this performance, the Russian sector exported 400,000 tonnes of wheat more than the European Union (EU), which was used to being the main source of supply for the North African country.

Russian players are delighted with this breakthrough on the Algerian market adding that the export objective for this season has been revised upwards. 

“We estimate the export potential for the current season at 3 million tonnes, [or 500,000 tonnes more than the forecasts made a little earlier by the Russian Association of Wheat Exporters].  In the future, the supply will also gradually increase,” adds Mr. Pavensky.

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.

Data from the European Commission indicates that Algerian wheat imports from the European economic bloc amounted to 1.2 million tonnes over the 2023/24 period, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria

On its latest report, however, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted that wheat imports for Algeria are expected to remain elevated at 8.7 million tonnes in 2024-25.

The USDA attributes the high import forecast 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 July.

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