Report Highlights: 

Algeria’s MY 2014/15 total grain production suffered from water stress due to the spring drought. The preliminary forecast is 3.0 MMT, a 38 percent decrease from last year’s crop of 4.9 MMT. The effects of the drought will likely lead to higher wheat imports.

General information

The Minister of Agriculture announced in a press release that total grain production for MY2014-2015 will be heavily affected by the spring drought. The preliminary forecast is 3.0 MMT compared to 4.9 MMT last year. Thus far, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has not provided any official details about soft bread and hard durum wheat production. 

The decrease in production is mainly due to the drought affected provinces in Eastern Algeria. This region supplies most domestic demand. While projections for this marketing year were optimistic at 5 MMT, of which 3.3 MMT was wheat with a yield estimated at 4 T/HA, climatic conditions reduced actual results. Therefore, Algeria will likely rely again on imports to fill the gap. Price relief this year will also probably boost imports. 

The drought has affected the Eastern region for the second consecutive year. The MoA has also revised its preliminary MY 2013/14 total wheat and coarse grain production downward to 4.91 million MT. Some of the main growing areas in the Eastern part of the country suffered drought damage last year as well. 

As domestic production is still mostly weather driven and does not meet domestic demand, Algeria will continue to import wheat and bread wheat as it planted fewer hectares than durum and barley. Algeria imported 6 to 7 MMT of total wheat over the past years. Bread wheat represented 75 to 83 percent of the wheat imports. Even when Algeria’s total grain production reached 6.12 MMT in 2009, a record year, total wheat was 3.56 million MT, 2.43 million MT of durum wheat, and 1.13 million MT of bread wheat, Algeria imported 5.6 MMT of wheat and wheat bread represented nearly 4MMT. 

Algeria’s barley imports are also weather-driven—better weather results in higher local barley production and better pasture conditions, both of which decrease import demand. Barley imports have fluctuated over the past several years. Following the good crop recorded in 2009 and the availability of good stocks and pasture, little barley was imported in 2010. Barley imports increased following an average crop in MY2013/2014. As reported above, the crop was average and revised downward; more barley was imported in MY2013/2014 to meet the demand for animal feed and more likely will increase again in MY2014/2015 a reflection of the lower crop