Report Highlights: 

Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture announced final cereal production for MY2014/15 at 6.8 million MT, which was 30 percent lower compared to production in the previous season. The 2015/2016 season started under unfavorable conditions with a significant shortage in the rainfall and low water reserves in dams. On September 1, 2014, the Government of Morocco (GOM) reduced the import duties for bread wheat from 45% to 17.5%, and is currently legislating measures that will simplify imports procedures for cereals. For MY 2014/15, Post maintains its estimate for imports at 3.1 million MT for wheat and 0.4 million MT for barely with an expected increase in market share for Russia and Black sea countries.

Production 

The 2015/2016 season started under unfavorable conditions with a significant shortage in rainfall up to October 2014 compared to an average year. Reserves in dams decreased by 12% compared to last year and the overall fill rate was around 57%. Many experts predict water rationing for the coming season despite government announcement that the deficit is manageable. Planting will take be late as farmers are waiting for autumn rainfall. 

For MY2014/15, Morocco’s Official grain crop production was announced at 6.8 million MT, which was 30 percent lower compared to production in the previous season. It consisted of 3.7 million MT of soft wheat, 1.4 million MT of durum wheat, and 1.7 million MT of barley. The production was in line with the target set in the Green Morocco plan (GMP). 

Government Support for Cereal Production 

For the MY 2015/2016 cereal crop, the government will continue implementing series of measures to support cereal production as part of the GMP. These measures included establishing a reference price for local wheat purchases, paying farmers a premium to store their wheat and encouraging them to use certified seeds. Other measures to support grain production include subsidies for farm machinery purchases and irrigation equipment that range from 30 to 70 percent of the purchase cost and subsidizing soil testing to optimize fertilizer usage. 

Trade 

Morocco’s cereals imports in MY 2013/2014 totaled 4,305,088 MT, including 3,966,228 of wheat and 338,860 MT of barely, which is almost the same volume imported in MY2012/13. France took the lead in Morocco’s wheat market, with 48 percent market share, while Canada supplied 18 percent. US exports were limited in MY2013/14 to 36,000 MT. For barely, France and Argentina supplied 80% of Morocco imports with 5% market share for Canada. From June 2014 to the end of August 2014, Morocco’s cereals imports totaled 119,531 MT for wheat and 92,752 MT for barley. For MY2014/2015, Post maintains Morocco’s imports at 3.1 million MT for wheat and 0.4 million MT for barely. This is 18% less than the volume imported in MY2013/14 and can be explained by Morocco’s massive imports in the first eight months of 2014 with wheat imports increasing by 52% and barely by 150%. 

Regarding Morocco wheat suppliers, it is expected that Russia and Black sea countries increase their market share for MY2014/15. In June 2014, the Moroccan wheat trade federation announced the signature of a contractual framework with banks under which Moroccan importers would buy the equivalent of $300 million of Russian wheat in MY2014/15. It is also worth mentioning that the government is planning to use temporary quality control measures for European wheat following Moroccan miller’s complaints about quality. 

Policy: 

Since September 1, 2014, Government of Morocco (GOM) decided to reduce the import duties on bread wheat to 17.5% from 45% (Circulaire ## 5459/211) and maintained the duty on durum wheat at 2.5%. It is also important to note that a decree including measures to simplify import procedures for cereals was submitted recently to the government for adoption. The decree intends to reduce the obstacles faced by Moroccan cereals importers. In the new decree importers are no longer requested to provide a bill of loading to justify the execution of the importation. The decree will also limit the period between the import declaration and port arrival to 90 days which will help the GOM to have better and more accurate data on supplies and stocks