Morocco opens up to 25 countries to ensure its grain supply

The war in Ukraine, the sanctions against Russia, in addition to fluctuations in the international market, have undermined the grain supply of several countries. In order to avoid the various factors likely to affect its grain supplies, the Morocco has expanded its sourcing circle to include twenty-five (25) countries.

In response to a written question from the People’s Movement (MP) group on how to deal with the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war on agricultural imports, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and forests indicated that Morocco has adopted a strategy of diversification of supply sources, in order to avoid all factors that could affect the national market.

The grain was supplied during the previous agricultural season from 25 countries including Europe, North and South America and Asia, the ministry said.

Moreover, and according to data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, despite the current climatic conditions and geopolitical factors, Morocco was able to import cereals from 15 countries during the last period of the marketing campaign in Classes.

The same data shows that Morocco is no longer content to rely on traditional sources of grain imports, a significant portion of which came from Europe and North America. In this sense, and until the end of February 2022, Argentina and Brazil accounted for 41% of cereal imports.

The Ministry of Agriculture estimated that, thanks to the strategy of diversifying the sources of grain supply, Morocco was able to be sheltered from the repercussions of external fluctuations, due to the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine, which are respectively the second and the third supplier of soft wheat to the Kingdom. Moreover, the official government spokesman, Mustafa Baitas, confirmed two weeks ago that Morocco has a stock of wheat covering four months.

Morocco imported 5.6 million quintals of common wheat and 500,000 quintals of Ukrainian barley, on the usual share of Ukraine on the national market, which amounts to approximately 8.7 million quintals of common wheat and 670,000 quintals of barley, according to data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture in response to the question from the MP.

The same ministry confirmed that the rest of the soft wheat and barley quota that Morocco used to import from Ukraine can be covered smoothly from other sources, including the European Union and the Argentina, thanks to the strategy of diversifying grain supply sources.

In addition, the department of Mohammed Sadiki stressed that the services responsible for ensuring the cereal needs of the Kingdom ” are closely monitoring the situation in order to propose the best means of ensuring the country’s supply of cereals and legumes“.

It should be recalled that the government had adopted a number of measures aimed at maintaining the stability of the price at which millers buy soft wheat, in order to maintain price stability for bread extracted from soft wheat flour at 1.20 l ‘unity.

Thus, the government has adopted three measures, namely the cessation of the collection of the import duty imposed on imports of soft wheat as of November 1, 2021, the cessation of the collection of the import duty imposed on imports of durum wheat from August 1, 2021 and the adoption of a random subsidy on soft wheat imports from November 1, 2021 to the end of April 2022 and which has been extended until the end of November 2022.

The Ministry of Agriculture has indicated that the lump sum subsidy system has so far made it possible to import quantities of soft wheat that exceed the monthly needs of industrial mills.

Regarding the supply of durum wheat, the ministry indicated that international prices remain high in Canada and France, and that the services concerned are focusing on ” the study of all possible ways to reduce the repercussions of the high prices of products made from durum wheat derivatives on the purchasing power of citizens “.

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