ALGIERS, ALGERIA — Algeria’s wheat and barley production outlook is optimistic as normal crop conditions have been observed for the 2020-21 marketing year, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

The USDA forecasts the country’s wheat production for the 2020-21 marketing year at 3.9 million tonnes and is expected to import 5 million tonnes.

Algeria’s wheat consumption did spike earlier this year in reaction to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many rushed to buy staple food such as flour and semolina fearing shortages and supply disruptions. To avoid those issues Algerian mills worked seven days a week to meet the new demand and the Algerian Office of Cereals (OAIC) supplied the mills to full capacity during that week. Normally, private processors would be supplied 50% of their requirements, the report said.

While the wheat consumption has normalized and is expected to remain stable the Algerian government is urging for a decrease in bread consumption. The goal is to reduce food waste, demand for wheat and in turn reduce imports.

Algeria’s barley consumption has trended upward since 2000 with the increased demand for animal feed. The USDA maintains Algeria’s barley consumption at 2 million tonnes for the 2020-21 marketing year.

The country’s barley imports are weather dependent. If pasture conditions are unsuitable barley demand ticks up. The USDA forecasts Algeria’s barley imports to total 5 million tonnes in market year 2020-21. Production is expected to be around 1 million tonnes.

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