TUNISIA (6 February)
Sowing of the wheat and barley crops has been recently completed under generally favourable weather conditions. Crops are developing satisfactorily and the prospects for the 2005 winter crops to be harvested from May are favourable so far. Barring adverse weather for the rest of the growing season, output of wheat and barley in 2005 is forecast at 1.35 million tonnes and 0.42 million tonnes, respectively. These levels of production are lower than the record outputs of 1.72 million tonnes for wheat and 0.62 million tonnes for barley estimated for 2004, but remain above the average for the previous five years.
Imports of cereals in 2004/05 (July/June), mostly wheat and maize are forecast at 1.8 million tonnes, about 232 000 tonnes more than in the previous year.