Algeria. Grain and Feed Update. Nov 2014 Nov. 11, 2014
In late October the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) reported that total cereal production for MY2014/2015 is estimated at 3.4 MMT but continues to be silent about bread wheat and durum productions. All indications are that France will supply 50 percent of Algeria’s demand for bread wheat for 2014/2015, despite the reduced quality of the grain crop due to unfavorable climatic conditions.
According to the MoA’s final report on grain producton, Algeria's cereal production in MY2014/15 is down 30% compared to the previous year. Total cereal production was 3.4 MMT, down from 4.91 MMT in 2013/14. The decrease is due to a drought that severely affected provinces in eastern Algeria, the major production area. The MoA continues its silence regarding soft bread and hard durum wheat production.
As domestic production is still mostly weather driven and does not meet domestic demand, Algeria will continue to import wheat, bread wheat because the area planted is far smaller than the area for durum and barley. Algeria has imported 6 - 7 MMT of total wheat over the past several years of which bread wheat has represented 75 to 83 percent of the wheat imports. Traders reported that about 100,000 MT U.S. origin durum has been imported in the current MY.
For several years, France has been the top wheat supplier to Algeria (75 percent) and exports the largest percentage of bread wheat (82 percent) and durum (59 percent). France’s current grain crop was heavily affected by bad weather conditions in France which lowered the quality of the grain. As a result there has been a great deal of speculation about France’s ability to supply Algeria’s grain demand. Traders have speculated that northern European and Baltic Sea countries would fill the void left by France. Meanwhile, the Algerian Grain Buying Agency has been highly critical of mixing wheat and conducts inspections to ensure quality standards are met and to determine the origin of the wheat.
According to the French organization for agricultural product and seafood, French wheat will comply with Algeria’s requirements despite negative impact of the weather on the crop quality. They confirmed that the Hagberg index remains at 220, an acceptable level, as required by the Algerian government.
During its annual crop quality seminar in Algiers on October 21, 2014, the president of France Export Cereals, stated that the French harvest for 2014 would meet international demand particularly for traditional customers such as Algeria. According to the figures presented at the seminar, France expects to supply 50% of Algeria’s bread wheat demand for 2014/2015, whereas usually it normally supplies 75 to 80% of the bread wheat market, followed by Germany 26%, Poland 8%, UK 5%, Sweden 3%, other EU 3%, other sources 5%