RABAT, MOROCCO — Low rainfall is expected to cause a 60% reduction in Morocco’s 2019-20 wheat production, according to a June 23 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture forecast for wheat and barley production is below the country’s 10-year average totaling 3 million tonnes. Specifically, 1.65 million tonnes of common wheat, 0.75 million tonnes of durum wheat and 0.6 million tonnes of barley.

Usually Morocco raises tariffs during the summer harvest period to protect local producers, but due to expected low output the government has extended its suspension of custom duties on common wheat until Dec. 31, 2020.

The Moroccan government has set several measures in place to help producers market their harvest for the 2019-20 year, including:

  • A fixed reference price for common wheat 2,800 Dh per tonne or $280 per tonne.
  • Provide biweekly storage premium for grain traders and Moroccan ag cooperatives.
  • Provide a subsidy for millers and common wheat buyers at the rate of 50 Dh per tonne or $5 per tonne.

The USDA said Morocco continues to deal with the global spread of the coronavirus but its grain sector remains open, reporting that mills are operating at full capacity, wheat imports are continuing, and ports remain operational.