ALGERIA (5 June)
As a result of severe drought during much of the season, 60 percent of area planted is reported to have been damaged. Cereal production in 2000 is, therefore, expected to be well below last year's harvest which was below average. The drop in output is reported to be severe even in the eastern and southern regions, which had good crops for several consecutive years.
Following a sharp drop in domestic output, imports of cereals in 2000/01 (July/June) are forecast to increase considerably and may exceed 7 million tonnes, compared to 6 million tonnes or less in recent years. Imports of wheat should be over 5 million tonnes.
EGYPT (5 June)
Prospects are favourable for the 2000 winter grains being harvested. As a result of generally satisfactory growing conditions, a wheat harvest of about 6.65 million tonnes is officially estimated compared to 6.35 million last year. The increase is largely due higher yields as a result of Government incentives to cultivate new varieties and use improved cropping practices. The 2000 paddy season is underway under generally normal weather conditions but the availability of irrigation water in the next weeks will determine the final area planted.
Imports of cereals during the marketing year 2000/01 (July/June) are forecast at about 10 million tonnes, about the same level as last year. This includes 7 million tonnes of wheat and 3.5 million tonnes of coarse grains, mostly maize.
LIBYA (5 June)
Prospects for the 2000 winter crops, currently being harvested, are unfavourable. Cereal production is anticipated to be below last year's average crop of about 320 000 tonnes, as yields have been reduced by prolonged dry weather between February and April in the north and north-east. The country's cereal import requirements for 2000/01, estimated at 2.1 million tonnes, mostly wheat and barley, will be met through commercial channels.
MOROCCO (5 June)
Poor rainfall since mid-January coupled with abnormally high temperatures, resulted in losses of over half of area planted to wheat and barley. As a consequence, production is expected to be sharply reduced. Initial indications point to wheat output in 2000 at some 1.1 million tonnes, about half of the 1999 drought-reduced output, while coarse grains are estimated at 1.08 million tonnes, 35 percent lower than the previous year. In reaction to the natural disaster, the government has initiated an anti-drought programme to last through next year's harvest in June 2001. The programme includes drinking water supply for people in affected areas, the protection of livestock through subsidized feeding, and the provision of wheat and barley seeds and grains to farmers at subsidized prices.
Cereal imports in 2000/01 (July/June) are forecast to increase substantially, at 3 million tonnes of wheat and 1.8 million tonnes of coarse grains, mainly barley and maize.
TUNISIA (5 June)
Despite an average area planted, below-normal and poorly distributed rainfall in March and April have seriously affected wheat and barley yields. As a result, total cereal production is tentatively put at 1 million tonnes, compared to 1.8 million in 1999. Wheat output at about 815 000 tonnes is 42 percent below last year while the barley crop is estimated at 223 000 tonnes, a 45 percent reduction.
Imports of cereals for the 2000/01 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 1.7 million tonnes, consisting of about 1 million tonnes of wheat and 700 000 tonnes of coarse grains, mainly barley and maize.