GIEWS Country Briefs

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Reference Date: 28-January-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Above average cereal harvest in 2013 following timely and adequate rainfall

  2. Wheat imports expected to decrease in 2013/14

  3. Food inflation remains moderate

Planting of the 2014 winter grains is concluded. Winter grain prospects are mostly favourable, although a lack of soil moisture remains a concern in southern-most portions of the country. Being largely rain-fed, cereal production in Morocco is highly variable.

Above average cereal harvest gathered in 2013

The Ministry of Agriculture’s preliminary cereal production forecast in 2013 was put at almost 10 million tonnes, 30 percent above the five-year average and some 87 percent above last year’s drought affected, exceptionally low harvest. The largest ever cereal harvest of 10.4 million tonnes was gathered in 2009. At 7 million tonnes, the total wheat harvest was some 40 percent above the five-year average and 81 percent above last year. The barley harvest, used mostly as feed, reached 2.7 million tonnes, 125 percent increase compared to last year and some 20 percent above the five-year average. Favourable weather also improved conditions of pastures, reducing demand for feed barley.

The Government has taken various measures to improve yields, including the provision of certified seeds (at 40-60 percent of the cost), subsidies for farm machinery and irrigation equipment (30-70 percent of the purchase cost), and subsidies for soil testing to optimise fertiliser application. The cultivated area covered by crop insurance, with 50 to 90 percent of insurance premiums subsidised, was planned to increase from 300 000 hectares in 2012 to 500 000 hectares in 2013. The projection is to cover 1 million hectares in 2015.

Wheat imports expected to decrease in 2013/14

Morocco is a food-deficit country where agricultural production fluctuates markedly from year to year due to rainfall variations. Even in good years, the country relies heavily on wheat imports from the international market to cover its consumption needs. Morocco’s cereal imports in 2013/14 are forecast at 4.7 million tonnes, 22 percent down on 2012/13. Wheat imports account for 2 million tonnes of this total. EU and Black Sea countries supply most of the common (soft) wheat while Canada is the traditional supplier of durum wheat. Due to excess milling capacity in Morocco, limited quantities of wheat flour are exported to neighbouring countries.

Food inflation remains moderate

The food inflation stood at 0.7 percent in the 12 months to the end of December 2013. In spite of the country’s high import dependency rate, the impact of the changes in international prices on domestic prices is mitigated by government subsidies of more than one million tonnes of “national flour”, a common wheat of standard quality used to make flour for the low-income consumers. The Government covers the difference between the actual price and guaranteed mill price (MAD 2 600/tonne as of April 2013). Durum wheat is not regulated.







Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Main Food-related Policy Measures (From 1 Jan 2008 to 11 Oct 2011)
 Interpolated Estimated Dekadal Rainfall
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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