ALGERIA (3 February)
Planting of the winter cereals for harvesting from June 2005 is almost completed. Early prospects are good provided normal weather conditions persist.
Aggregate 2004 cereal output has been estimated at 3.95 million tonnes, which is similar to the bumper crop harvested in 2003 and 75 percent above average. This is the result of overall favourable weather conditions, larger area sown and adequate availability of agricultural inputs, as well as the implementation of the Agricultural Development Plan set up by the Government in 2000. As a consequence, imports of cereals, mostly wheat, are forecast to decrease to about 5.5 million tonnes.