RABAT, MOROCCO — Morocco has modified its wheat import subsidy program so companies can more easily import cargoes from the Black Sea region, Reuters reported, citing an official with ONICL, the state grain agency.

The revision means that as of March importers can receive a monthly subsidy if cargoes are loaded by the end of the month, unlike previously when ships had to arrive in Morocco by the month’s end.

Encouraging shipments from the Black Sea region, which includes Russia and Ukraine, was “one of the reasons” for adjusting the import subsidy terms, the official said.

Following Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine, grain shipments from Black Sea ports have been moving via an agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey with Ukraine and Russia, two of the world’s largest providers of wheat.

Morocco, a nation of 37 million people, is a major cereal grains importer. The US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service estimates Morocco will import 7.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2022-23.