ALGIERS, ALGERIA — Algeria is expected to produce 3.3 million tonnes of wheat and 1.2 million tonnes of barley for 2022-23, an improvement over last year’s drought-impacted crop, though area harvested remains flat, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Production is expected to climb from 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and 950,000 tonnes of barley in 2021-22. FAS Post Algiers maintains its 2022-23 wheat harvested area at just over 2 million hectares and barley harvested area at just over 1 million hectares, unchanged from the previous two seasons. 

Wheat imports are projected at 8.2 million tonnes and barley at 772,000 tonnes. Supplies from the Southern Hemisphere are expected to compensate for some of the shortfalls in deliveries from Europe and Mexico, based on traders’ reports.

Wheat consumption is forecast at 11.1 million tonnes for 2022-23, a small uptick from last season’s estimate of 11.05 million tonnes. Algeria is among the world’s largest consumers of wheat, and the staple grain represents 60% of the food ration in the North African nation of just over 44 million people.

“There are no new agreements to open new mills or expand the old mills,” the FAS said. “The government is also encouraging consumers to decrease their consumption of bread to avoid waste and decrease the demand for bread (common) wheat, thus reducing imports.” 

With 1.95 million tonnes of barley consumption, the grain mainly is used for animal feed with a small portion used for bread and couscous for human consumption.