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Morocco will import nearly a million tons of US wheat

Morocco is preparing to import a significant amount of US wheat, following the low cereal production recorded for the 2018-2019 crop year. In fact, the national inter-professional cereal and pulses board (ONICL) has launched a call for tenders for the import of wheat from the United States.

The Kingdom has produced, under the 2018-2019 crop year, 52 million quintals of the three main cereals (durum, soft, barley), down 30% compared to an average year under Plan Maroc Vert (75 million of quintals), and 49% compared to the previous season, which recorded a production of 103 million quintals of wheat.

This situation is partly explained by the rainfall situation that characterized this campaign. Indeed, the poor temporal distribution means that Morocco is preparing to import from the United States, 576,000 tons of soft wheat and 345,455 of durum wheat, or 921,455 tons of cereals in total.

Thus, and in accordance with the free trade agreement signed between Morocco and the United States, the call for tenders, launched on 19 August by ONICL, where it announces the opening of bids on 5 September 2019, invites interested cereal operators to withdraw the file from the ONICL office, or download it from the office website www.onicl.org.ma or from the offers portal www.marchespublics.gov.ma

In its announcement, the Office points out that the call for tenders is open to operators of the sector, having filed a declaration of existence with its administration, in accordance with the provisions of Law 12-94 relating to the ONICL and the organization of the cereals and pulses market.

The Office similarly states that the minimum size of each lot is set at 5,000 tonnes, whereas the deadline for completion is 31 December 2019.

Recall that the 2018-19 crop year recorded rainfall reaching, at the end of May 2019, 290.5 mm, down 11% from the 30-year average (326.3 mm) and 23% from in the previous campaign (375.3 mm) on the same date.

The rainfall of this campaign was also characterized by a poor temporal distribution. Nearly three-quarters of the rainfall occurred during the three-month start-up, with heavy rainfall lasting until January.

The “very low rainfall”, or even its absence in several regions in the months that followed, led to a stagnation of cereals and a decrease in yields more or less important depending on the region.

Despite the drop in cereal production, the good performance of other agricultural sectors, in particular citrus fruits, olives and industrial crops, made it possible to reduce the fall in cereal production. Thus, the agricultural value added for this season should be 120 billion dirhams.

In addition, it should be noted that the contribution of agricultural GDP is between 10 and 20%. The 1.4 million national farms generate a turnover of 15 billion dirhams. The industrial fabric of the cereals sector is made up of 211 units divided among 134 industrial mills of soft wheat, 58 semolina of durum wheat, 19 orgeries, 10.000 artisanal units (35% of the national crushings).

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