Morocco to Import Extra Soft Wheat Amid Drought.

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According to traders, Morocco would increase its imports of soft wheat to 5 million tonnes in the 2023–2024 growing season, including grain from Russia.

Omar Yacoubi, the head of Morocco’s grain and cereals traders association FNCL, said that Morocco will need another 2.5 million tonnes of soft wheat by the end of June 2024 while expecting to have imported 2.5 million tonnes by September.

Morocco has increased import subsidies for all wheat from July to September, irrespective of origin, in an effort to entice importers after a below-average domestic crop and high world prices.

According to Abdelkader Alaoui, president of the industrial millers organization FNM, two ships carrying 100,000 tonnes of wheat are already sailing from Russia to Morocco.

Despite the fact that Russian prices continue to be cheap, importers have trouble completing payments as a result of Western sanctions on Russia, he added. Alaoui estimated that 5% of Morocco’s wheat imports would be of Russian origin, with the majority coming from the European Union, particularly France.

Up to the end of August, wheat inventories had enough for about 5 months’ worth of domestic consumption, he said, and storage capacity had slightly increased to 5.2 million tonnes.

Last year, the Moroccan government urged businesses to build up their wheat reserves beyond a five-month supply. However, according to Alaoui, “current prices are not conducive to increasing stockpiles.”

Prices on the global market are still too costly to accumulate new supplies, he claimed, even with the current zero customs-duty rate.

 

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