FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages No.5, November 2001


ALGERIA (15 November)

Heavy rains in early November have resulted in heavy flooding, particularly in urban areas where a large number of casualties is reported as well as significant damage to housing and infrastructure. The abundant rains arrived after weeks of dry weather which had delayed planting of the winter cereal crops for harvesting in the spring/summer of 2002. The 2001 aggregate cereal output is estimated at 2.6 million tonnes compared to 0.9 million tonnes harvested in 2000 and to the past 5-year average of 2.3 million tonnes. Coarse grain production practically doubled from the previous year, while wheat output was almost three times as much mainly as a consequence of favourable rainfall.

The increase in production is likely to result in lower imports in marketing year 2001/02 (July/June), but the country will still have to import some 4.5 million tonnes of wheat, 650 000 tonnes of barley and about 1.5 million tonnes of maize to meet the strong domestic demand.

EGYPT (12 November)

Harvesting of the 2001 coarse grain and paddy crops is well advanced while planting of the irrigated wheat crop is due to start in the next few weeks. The general state of the crops is reported to be normal. An average wheat crop was harvested in 2001. Coarse grain output for the year is provisionally estimated at 7.4 million tonnes, slightly below last year's above-average level, while paddy production is expected to be average at 5.4 million tonnes (3.7 million tonnes in milled rice equivalent).

Imports of wheat in marketing year 2001/02 (July/June) are forecast to increase from the previous year's 6.2 million tonnes to 6.6 million tonnes in response to strong domestic demand and despite the considerable increase in price caused by higher international transportation costs. By contrast, maize imports are anticipated to decline from the precedent year's relatively high level.

MOROCCO (12 November)

Land preparation has started for planting of the 2001/02 winter crops. Aggregate cereal production in 2001 is more than doubled the output in the previous year, when crops were affected by severe drought. Nevertheless, aggregate cereal production is some 10 percent below the average of the past 5 years. This is mainly the result of late rains at spring planting which contributed to a reduction of the area planted to wheat and barley, with respect to earlier intended plantings, in some parts of the country.

Wheat imports in marketing year 2001/02 (July/June) are anticipated to decline from 3.5 million tonnes in the previous year to some 3 million tonnes. Coarse grain imports, principally barley, are also forecast to decline from 2 million tonnes to about 1.7 million tonnes.

TUNISIA (15 November)

Planting of the 2001/02 wheat and barley crops started recently under generally dry weather conditions for harvest in spring next year. Aggregate cereal production in 2001 is provisionally estimated at 1.6 million tonnes, compared to 1.4 million tonnes in 2000 and to the past 5-year average of 1.7 million tonnes. Output increases are reported for every cereal, particularly for barley.

Wheat imports in marketing year 2001/02 (July/June) are forecast to remain close to the previous year's 1 million tonnes, while maize imports are expected to decline slightly from the previous year.

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