Algeria Wheat: Russia is behind Bulgaria


Feb 22, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

Algeria is a significant grain consumer and considers Wheat the primary staple food. Wheat is used mainly for bread and couscous. Algerian Wheat consumption has risen slightly in the past years as a result of increased urbanization, population growth, and increased milling capacity. The North African country is one of the world’s largest Wheat importers. Although domestic production has improved over the years, it remains weather-driven and does not meet domestic demand. Therefore, Algeria continues to import Wheat.

In the report released on 30th September 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) post in Algiers forecasts the 2022/23 season Wheat harvested area at just over 2 million hectares (ha). “Despite the Government making pledges to expand grain production, Post believes that due to the adverse effects of the pandemic, farmers likely did not expand their operations in a meaningful way,” the USDA reports. Post forecasts 2022/23 Wheat production at 3.3 million metric tons (MMT) and barley at 1.2 MMT.

Over the last several years, the Government of Algeria has repeatedly proclaimed the increase in agricultural production, explicitly highlighting Wheat as a national priority. In 2021, the Minister of Agriculture (MoA) Abdelhamid Hemdani announced plans to expand Algeria’s Wheat-planted area to 3.5 million ha. The Government had previously indicated that it had surveyed the identified good agricultural land to cultivate durum Wheat nationwide, particularly in regions with high rainfall. 

In Algeria, grain harvest season begins at the end of April and through early May in the southern Saharan regions. In the Northern areas, the harvest starts later in May and gathers steam through July and August. Harvests in these areas began with favorable forecasts for cereals, including durum Wheat, bread Wheat, barley, and corn. Starting in 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture initiated preparations for the planting campaign in July instead of September, as used in previous years. Plantings were brought forward from October to September. This decision was undertaken in anticipation of benefiting from possible early rains. 

As usual, the MoA made treated seeds and fertilizers available, particularly bread Wheat and durum Wheat, barley, and certain legumes seeds such as lentils and chickpeas. Furthermore, the Ministry pursues the program to strengthen surface irrigation to develop cereals in the south and supplemental irrigation in the north to counter the lack of rainfall and improve cereals production.

Algeria Wheat: Bulgaria is Behind Russia

Algerian Wheat Consumption and Import

Algeria is among the largest consumers of Wheat in the world. Wheat is the primary staple food and represents 60 percent of the food ration in Algeria. However, the Government is encouraging consumers to decrease their bread consumption to avoid waste and decrease the demand for bread (common) Wheat, thus reducing imports. Wheat consumption will remain relatively stable in the near future.

In 2020/2021, the total Wheat consumption in Algeria exceeded 11 MMT, increasing compared to the previous years. From 2016 onwards, Wheat consumption in the country grew annually. By comparison, around 10.3 million metric tons of Wheat were consumed in 2016/2017. USDA’s post forecasts Wheat consumption at 11.15 MMT for the 2022/23 season.

According to the AgFlow data, Bulgaria led its import market with 0.25 million tons of Wheat in the last month, followed by Russia (0.2 million tons ), Romania (0.1 million tons), France (61,500 tons), and Lithuania (31,500 tons). The import volume totaled 11.6 MMT in 2022. In 2020, Algeria imported Wheat worth $1.64B, becoming the world’s 7th largest importer of Wheat. In the same year, Wheat was Algeria’s 1st most imported product. Algeria imports Wheat primarily from: France ($889M), Germany ($202M), Canada ($120M), Poland ($92.2M), and Lithuania ($92.1M).

Other sources: MILLER MAGAZINE

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