Morocco to reduce reliance on grain imports in anticipation of triple grain out-put in 2021/22

MOROCCO – Morocco is set to register a ten-year high production average of grains in MY 2021/22 by 26.3%, following a bumper harvest due to favourable weather conditions.

This was revealed by the Ministry of Agriculture, forecasting total wheat and barley production at 9.8 million metric tons, reflecting a vast increase of 206%, from production out-put registered in MY 2020/21.

The total production estimates for the period under review include, 4.8 MMT of common wheat, 2.4 MMT of durum wheat, and 2.6 MMT of barley.

In a bid to protect the local market, the government of Morocco increased customs duties on common wheat from 0 percent to 135 percent, and for durum wheat raised from 0 percent to 170 percent.

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The new duties which took effect since May, will be applied until further notice, indicates a GAIN report by USDA.

Further to that, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Economy and Finance have signed a joint decision regarding the implementation of a series of measures to help farmers market their harvest for the 2021-2022 crop year, effective June 1 through October 31, 2021.

The measures include the use of reference price for common wheat at US$318/MT and allow Moroccan agricultural cooperatives and grain traders to store their wheat at facilities licensed by ONICL biweekly at a premium of US$2.2/MT.

Morocco’s grain production set to increase by 206%

Also, the government is providing a subsidy for millers and common wheat collectors at the rate of US$5.6/MT.

With Morocco expecting a bumper harvest of grain in 2021/22, the commodity imports are expected to drop sharply with wheat purchase forecasted to decline by 35% to 4.2 MMT.

Meanwhile, barley imports are forecasted to reach 400,000 MT, a decline from 1.6MMT of the previous corresponding period.

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In terms of consumption, a recent USDA report indicated that wheat local demand is estimated to remain stable.

Total domestic per capita consumption is set at 288 kg, based on a population of 36.4 million, equivalent to 10.5 MMT.

Common wheat represents nearly 70% of the consumption in urban areas and 66% in rural areas.

Barley consumption is expected to marginally rise to 2.5 MMT from 2.3 MMT. The grain is consumed mostly as animal feed and consumption rates vary depending on local availability and pasture conditions.

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