Morocco gives millers incentives to use domestic wheat

Rabat | Reuters — Morocco on Friday announced a set of incentives for local millers to opt for domestic wheat instead of imports.

They include a flat rate subsidy of 10 dirhams (C$1.37) per 100 kilograms of soft wheat to millers using local wheat, the ministry of agriculture said in a statement.

The benefits also include a premium of two dirhams per 100 kg per 15 days for storage agencies, it said.

The government set a reference price for standard quality soft wheat at 280 dirhams per 100 kg, it added. The measures enter into effect for locally harvested wheat between May 16 and Oct. 15.

Last week, the government raised customs duty on soft wheat to 135 per cent from 30 per cent to reduce imports. The decision will become effective once it is published in the official bulletin and last until Oct. 31.

Morocco’s cereal harvest is expected to reach 9.82 million tonnes in 2018, matching last year’s harvest despite late rainfall, including 4.81 million tonnes of soft wheat, 2.28 million tonnes of hard wheat and 2.73 million tonnes of barley, the ministry said last week.

By mid-April, Morocco’s soft wheat reserves were estimated at 1.6 million tonnes, enough to cover the needs of local industrial mills for four months.

Last year, Morocco imported 4.2 million tonnes of soft wheat, 2.1 million tonnes of maize, 850,000 tonnes of durum wheat and 440,000 tonnes of barley.

Canada’s crop exports to Morocco in 2017, according to Statistics Canada, included 694,860 tonnes of durum, 9,830 tonnes of non-durum wheat and smaller amounts of flaxseed and oats.

— Reporting for Reuters by Ahmed and Eljechtimi. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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