RABAT, MOROCCO – Morocco plans to reimpose customs duties on soft and hard wheat of 135% and 170%, respectively, beginning May 15, according to a Reuters report.

The country’s agriculture ministry told Reuters that the plan is to cut imports at a time of higher prices in international markets.

The import duties had been suspended until May 15 to ensure price stability and steady supply after Morocco experienced two consecutive years of drought that slashed harvests.

This year, following adequate rainfall, Morocco forecasts a grain harvest of 9.8 million tonnes, 206% higher than last year’s total. That includes 4.82 million tonnes of soft wheat, 2.34 million tonnes of durum and 2.6 million tonnes of barley.

Incentives to encourage use of domestically grown wheat include a flat rate subsidy of 5 dirhams ($0.51) per 100 kilograms of soft wheat to millers using local output, according to Reuters.

Morocco typically imports 2 million to 3 million tonnes of soft wheat, mostly from France, annually depending on local output.