Algeria Wheat: France Loses as Bulgaria Wins
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Algeria is one of the world’s largest importers of Wheat. In 2021, cereals represented about a quarter of Algeria’s total food import bill of $9 billion, along with being the top food import. Algeria does not release the results of its tenders, and reports are based on trade estimates. Traders’ reports indicate that the Algerian Office of Cereals (OAIC) has purchased bread Wheat internationally since 2022.
Traders’ reports indicated that OAIC booked up to 720,000 MT of bread Wheat in the August tender and purchased Wheat from different sellers for shipments through September-October. According to these reports, most of these amounts are expected to be sourced from France. Reuters and other news reports indicated that Algeria said to buy Russian Wheat. The articles reported that OAIC bought an unknown volume of milling Wheat in an international tender at the end of August, cheaper than EU Wheat to be shipped to two ports in Algeria. Trade reports indicate that the shipments would be most likely to be sourced from Russia for delivery during the second half of September and October. USDA’s Post estimates Wheat imports at 8.3 MMT due to ongoing purchases.
Algeria’s imports from Ukraine and Russia represent only 4%, and the war has not impacted Algeria’s imports. Algeria has always relied primarily on imported Wheat from France, Germany, Spain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico. However, the import figures show increased imports from Ukraine in 2022. OAIC is adopting a policy of diversification for its commercial partners. The new specifications open the door of competition to several foreign suppliers. Russia resumed Wheat exports to Algeria in June 2021 after a five-year break after the North African country raised the threshold for corn bug damage in Wheat imports it allows to 0.5% from 0.1%.
According to the AgFlow data, Bulgaria led its import market with 0.8 million tons of Wheat in Jan-March 2023, followed by Russia (0.4 million tons), Romania (0.3 million tons), and France (61,500 tons). In 2021, Algeria imported Wheat worth $2.2 billion, 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 ($652 million), Germany ($592 million), Canada ($335 million), Poland ($275 million), and Russia ($106 million).
Algerian Government Policy on Wheat
The USDA’s area forecast considers Government incentives to expand plantings and fixed Wheat prices. In late 2020, the GOA launched an Agricultural Roadmap to develop the sector, focusing on critical commodities such as Wheat, corn, soybeans, and sugar. The roadmap seeks to broadly modernize crop farming in Algeria by using drones and satellites, for example. In addition, the strategy envisions the expansion of irrigation. When the strategy was launched, only 10 percent of Algeria’s agricultural land was irrigated. In 2021, then Minister of Agriculture Abdelhamid Hemdani announced additional plans to expand Algeria’s Wheat-planted area to 3.5 million ha. Hemdani did not establish a timeline for nearly doubling Algeria’s Wheat area.
The Algerian Government encourages modern industrial agriculture using satellites, digitization, and other innovative tools, especially regarding renewable energies. Additionally, to increase agriculture development, the government plans to intensify agricultural production, revitalize natural resources, and improve water resources use. The new development policy prioritizes investment in agricultural products ensuring food security in Algeria.
The Government inspires large-scale agricultural investments in the Highlands and the “Sahara” (South of Algeria). In addition, the development strategy promotes foreign direct investments and partnerships, particularly in grains, oilseeds, and sugar production. The development strategy also encourages crushing and refinery projects that support processing to stimulate the processing industry. Such projects include supporting increased storage capacity, increased cold chain infrastructures, and packaging projects.
Other sources: MILLER MAGAZINE
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