Crop Explorer - Production Briefs - North Africa


Feb 11 2020 | Morocco Wheat: Production Reduced 0.4 Million Metric Tons
Morocco wheat production for 2019/20 is estimated at 4.0 million metric tons (mmt), down 0.4 mmt (9 percent) from last month, and down 34 percent below the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 2.75 million hectares (mha), unchanged from last month, but down 0.1 mha (4 percent) from 2018/19 and 7 percent below the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at 1.45 metric tons per hectare (mt/ha), down 9 percent from last month, down 44 percent from 2018/19, and 27 percent below the 5-year average. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@usda.gov.)

Oct 10 2019 | India Rice: Yields Up Slightly from Last Year
USDA forecasts India rice production for 2019/20 at 114.0 million metric tons (milled basis), up nearly 2 percent from last month, but down 2 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 43.0 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but down 3 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 3.98 tons per hectare, up nearly 2 percent from last month and 1 percent from last year. (For more information, please contact Arnella.Trent@usda.gov.)

Oct 10 2019 | Egypt Rice: Large Area Revision Bolsters Production as Farmers Risk Penalties
USDA estimates Egypt production for 2019/20 at 4.3 million metric tons (mmt) milled, or 6.2 mmt on a rough basis, up 41 percent from last month, and 54 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 760,000 hectares, up 260,000 hectares or 52 percent from last month, and up 298,000 hectares from last year, or 65 percent. Yield is estimated at 8.2 tons per hectare, down 7 percent from last month and last year. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@usda.gov.)

May 10 2019 | Morocco Wheat: Drought Cuts Expectations; 2019/20 Crop Estimated Down 40 Percent from Last Year
USDA estimates Morocco wheat production for 2019/20 at 4.4 million metric tons (mmt), down 2.9 mmt (40 percent) from last year and 28 percent below the 5-year average. Area is estimated down 0.1 million hectares (4 percent) from last year and 7 percent below the 5-year average. Yield is forecast at 1.60 metric tons per hectare, down 38 percent from last year and down 20 percent from the 5-year average. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov).

May 10 2019 | Tunisia Wheat: Ideal Weather the Catalyst for Record Yields in 2019/20
USDA forecasts Tunisia wheat production for 2019/20 at a bumper 1.5 million metric tons (mmt), up 0.4 mmt (40 percent) from last year and 36 percent above the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 0.6 million hectares (mha), 16 percent above last year and 8 percent above the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at a record 2.42 metric tons per hectare, up 21 percent from last year and 27 percent above the 5-year average. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov).

May 10 2019 | Algeria Wheat: Excellent Conditions in the East Expected to Drive Up 2019/20 Production
USDA forecasts Algeria wheat production for 2019/20 at a record 4.0 million metric tons (mmt), up 0.1 mmt or 2 percent above last year’s record and 55 percent above the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 2.1 million hectares (mha), slightly higher than last year but 20 percent above the 5-year average. Yield is forecast at a record 1.90 metric tons per hectare, slightly higher than last year and up 30 percent from the 5-year average. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov).

Oct 11 2018 | Egypt Rice: Lowest Area since 2010
USDA estimates 2018/19 Egypt rice production at 4.1 million metric tons (mmt), or 2.8 mmt on a milled basis, down 15 percent from last month and down 35 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 462,000 hectares, down 126,000 hectares (21 percent) from last month, and down 300,000 hectares from last year (39 percent). Yield is estimated at 8.78 metric tons per hectare, up 8 percent from last month and up 7 percent from last year. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov.)

Oct 11 2018 | Egypt Corn: Record Production as Farmers Increase Plantings
Egypt corn production for 2018/19 is estimated at 6.8 million metric tons (mmt), up 0.4 mmt (6 percent) from both last month and last year. Area harvested is estimated at 85,000 hectares, up 5,000 hectares (6 percent) from both last month and last year. Estimated yield is unchanged at 8.0 metric tons per hectare, unchanged from last month and last year. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov.)

Oct 11 2018 | Egypt Cotton: Area Increases after Reaching All-Time Low in 2016
USDA estimates 2018/19 Egypt cotton production at 450,000 480-pound bales, up 30,000 bales (7 percent) from last month, and up 150,000 bales (50 percent) from last year. Area is estimated at 135,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares (8 percent) above last month, and 44,000 hectares (48 percent) above last year. Yield is estimated at 726 kilograms per hectare, down 1 percent from last month, but up 1 percent from last year. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov.)

May 10 2018 | Northwest Africa Wheat: Abundant Rains Produce Record 2018/19 Production
Wheat production for 2018/19 for northwest Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) is estimated at a record 12.5 million metric tons (mmt). The estimated production is up 17 percent from last year and 30 percent above the 5-year average. Harvested area is estimated at 5.3 million hectares (mha), down 4 percent from last year and down 2 percent from the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at 2.37 metric tons per hectare, up 22 percent from last year and up 33 percent above the 5-year average. (For more information, please contact Bryan.Purcell@fas.usda.gov).

Jun 11 2016 | Egypt Cotton: Production Drops to Historic Low from Historic Low Area
Egypt 2016/17 cotton production is estimated at a historic low of 160,000 bales, down 60 percent or 240,000 bales from last month and down 160,000 from last year. Area is estimated at 50,000 hectares, 58 percent below last month, 50 percent below last year, and 33 percent below the 5- year average. Yield is estimated at 697 kilograms per hectare, down four percent from last month, but unchanged from last year.

May 10 2016 | Morocco Wheat: Drought Diminishes 2016/17 Crop Prospects
USDA estimates 2016/17 Morocco wheat production at 2.6 million tons, 68 percent below the 2015/16 record of 8.0 million tons, and 57 percent below the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 2.1 million hectares, down 34 percent from last year and down 33 percent from the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at 1.24 tons per hectare, 50 percent below the last year record, and 35 percent below the 5-year average.

Sep 11 2015 | Egypt Rice: Above-Average Temperatures Reduces Estimated Yield
Egypt rice production for 2015/16 is estimated at 4.0 million tons milled (5.8 million rough), down 0.6 million tons or 13 percent from last month. Production is down 0.5 million tons from last year and down 0.3 million tons from the 5-year average. Estimated yield is down 13 percent from last year and down 5.0 percent from the 5-year average. Area remains unchanged from last month and down slightly from last year.

Nov 10 2014 | Egypt Wheat: Estimated Production Reduced for 2014/15 and 2013/14
Egypt’s wheat production for 2014/15 is estimated at 8.2 million tons, down 0.75 million or 8.4 percent from last month, and down 0.05 million tons or 0.6 percent from last year’s revised estimate. Area is estimated at 1.3 million hectares, down 0.1 million or 7 percent from last month, and down 0.05 million hectares or 4 percent from last year.

Sep 11 2014 | Algeria Wheat: Production down 1.0 Million Due to Untimely Dryness
USDA estimates Algeria’s 2014/15 wheat production at 2.6 million tons, down 1.0 million or 28 percent from last month. Area is estimated at 1.7 million hectares, down 0.3 million or 15 percent from last month. Yield is estimated at 1.53 tons per hectare (t/ha), compared to 1.80 t/ha last month. Last year’s crop had a favorable yield of 1.91 tons per hectare and production of 3.3 million tons, just above the 3.2 million ton 5-year average.

Feb 10 2014 | Algeria Wheat: Ministry of Agriculture Released Revised Estimates
Algeria wheat production for 2013/14 is estimated at 3.3 million tons, down 0.3 million from last month and down 0.1 million from last year, but up 0.45 million from the 5 year average. Area is estimated at 1.725 million hectares, down 0.275 million or 14 percent from both last month and last year. Yield is estimated at 1.91 tons per hectare (MT/Ha), against last month’s 1.80 MT/Ha, last year’s 1.70 MT/Ha, and the 5 year average of 1.47 t/ha. The month-to-month changes are based on revised data from the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and reflect the impact of drought during the growing season. The 2013/14 wheat crop was harvested in June 2013. Algeria is one of the world’s largest net importers of grains, even in years with bumper crops.

Feb 10 2014 | Algeria Wheat: Ministry of Agriculture Released Revised Estimates
Algeria wheat production for 2013/14 is estimated at 3.3 million tons, down 0.3 million from last month and down 0.1 million from last year, but up 0.45 million from the 5 year average. Area is estimated at 1.725 million hectares, down 0.275 million or 14 percent from both last month and last year. Yield is estimated at 1.91 tons per hectare (MT/Ha), against last month’s 1.80 MT/Ha, last year’s 1.70 MT/Ha, and the 5 year average of 1.47 t/ha. The month-to-month changes are based on revised data from the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and reflect the impact of drought during the growing season. The 2013/14 wheat crop was harvested in June 2013. Algeria is one of the world’s largest net importers of grains, even in years with bumper crops.

Apr 10 2012 | Egypt Corn: Production Estimate Revised Up, but Still Lowest in 15 Years
USDA estimates Egypt 2011/12 corn production at 5.5 million tons, up 1.7 million or 45 percent from last month, and down 1.0 million tons or 15 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 0.7 million hectares, up 0.18 million or 35 percent from last month, but down 0.15 million hectares or 18 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 7.86 tons per hectare (t/ha), compared to 7.31 t/ha last month, and the five-year-average of 8.12 t/ha.Corn area stands at its lowest level since 2003/04, and production is at its lowest level since 1995/96. Corn competes with two other summer crops – cotton and rice. Area for both crops increased in 2011/12, largely at the expense of corn. Cotton area increased in 2010/11, primarily due to increased price incentives from the Egyptian government. During 2011/12 rice area increased to a record high due to its profitability and the more relaxed enforcement of area restrictions by the new government. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Sep 14 2011 | Morocco Barley: Harvest Results Indicate Crop Yields Significantly Lower
The USDA estimates 2011/12 Moroccan barley production at 2.4 million tons, down 0.7 million tons or 23 percent from last month, and down 7 percent from last year. Despite the decline in forecast output the 2011/12 barley crop is still the third consecutive favorable harvest, with total production estimated 10 percent above the five-year average. Barley in Morocco is secondary in production to wheat and is grown in the more marginal production regions in the southern and western areas of the country. While a wet autumn, winter, and spring boosted the overall yield of the crop, moisture problems at harvest also presented difficulties. Estimated wheat production was increased by 0.2 million tons to 6.1 million, up 25 percent from last year and 33 percent above the five-year average. These two crops comprise the vast majority of Moroccan grain production. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Sep 14 2011 | Egypt Corn: Production Sharply Declines as Farmers Switch to Rice
The USDA estimates Egypt’s 2011/12 corn production at 3.8 million tons, down 2.7 million tons or 42 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 0.52 million hectares, down 0.33 million or 39 percent from last year’s 0.85 million hectares. Official figures have not yet been released for this year’s crop but government officials and experts attribute the reductions to low corn seed sales and an increase in rice transplants. Rice has long been the favored crop for Egyptian farmers because of its high profitability, but the government had restricted sown area because of the high demand on scarce water supplies from the Nile River. A new environment for Egyptian farmers unfolded earlier this year when regime change occurred, resulting in the temporary installation of a military government. The current government has not enforced rice limits and has abolished fines on excessive planting of rice. Because of these policy measures, rice area is estimated to be up dramatically from last year while corn area is estimated to be down an almost equivalent amount. Corn competes with rice and cotton as the dominant summer crops. Relatively high cotton prices resulted in a year-to-year increase in cotton area. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Apr 8 2011 | Egypt Wheat: Yellow Rust and High Temperatures Reduce Estimated Output
The USDA estimates Egyptian wheat production for 2010/11 at 7.2 million tons, down 1.3 million from last month’s estimate and down 1.3 million from the 2009/10 crop. Area is estimated at 1.3 million hectares, down 60,000 hectares from both last month and last year. Yield is estimated at 5.71 tons per hectare, the lowest since 2000/2001 when yields were just 5.34 tons per hectare. Egyptian grain production rarely experiences yield fluctuations, due to the relative stability of several variables, including persistent Sahara sunshine and heat, as well as a reliable source of irrigation water from the Nile River. During the 2010/11 crop year, a yellow rust epidemic spread through Egypt’s wheat crop. In addition, unusually high temperatures were reported in February while part of the crop was in the sensitive flowering stage. These two negative events caused yield to dip below 6 tons per hectare for the first time in ten years. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Jun 10 2009 | Morocco: Record Wheat Crop, Barley Just Shy of Record
Harvesting should now be nearly complete in Morocco and recent reports indicate an even larger than expected crop. Morocco is Northwest Africa's largest wheat and barley producer, accounting for about 60 percent of the region's total output. Estimated 2009/10 grain production in Morocco was increased by 0.6 million tons from last month for a combined wheat and barley harvest of 10.2 million tons. Autumn precipitation was early and above average. Abundant rainfall continued to benefit the crop throughout winter and into early spring. After replenishing soil moisture reserves, the rainfall stopped in April which favored harvesting and other field activities. Morocco's 2009/10 wheat production is estimated at 6.5 million tons against 6.2 million tons last month, 3.7 million in 2008/09, and 1.6 million from the drought-afflicted 2007/08 season. The 2009/10 barley crop is estimated at 3.7 million tons, up 0.3 million fromlast month. This compares to barley production of 1.3 million tons in 2008/09, and 0.8 million in 2007/08. The 2009/10 wheat crop narrowly surpassed the record crop of 2006/07, and barley output is estimated at near-record levels. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

May 9 2008 | Morocco, Northwest Africa: Wheat Limited By Spring Dryness
USDA forecasts the 2008/09 Northwest Africa (NWA) wheat crop at 7.3 million tons, 1.9 million or 35 percent above last year's estimate, but 1.1 million or 13 percent below the five-year average. Harvested area is estimated at 5.3 million hectares, 0.2 million above last year. Yield is estimated at 1.39 tons per hectare, 30 percent higher than last year's very poor harvest, but still below the 1.45 tons/ha average. Morocco's 2008/09 wheat production is forecast at 3.5 million tons, up 121 percent from last year's 1.6 million ton crop, but 20 percent below the 5-year average. Algeria's wheat crop is forecast at 2.6 million tons, matching 2007/08 output, and Tunisia's crop is forecast at 1.2 million tons, the same level as last year.On average, Morocco is the largest grain producer in Northwest Africa, contributing about half of the three-nation wheat crop. Morocco's southern and central region is a large swing area for wheat production. This area averages lower rainfall and has lower average productivity, but during years with increased precipitation, yields are high. Algeria's arable land extends along a narrow belt just south of the Mediterranean Coast. Precipitation is typically not subject to extreme fluctuation, resulting in more consistent wheat production. Tunisia received considerable autumn and winter precipitation but it was concentrated on the extreme northern coast and did not extend into the country's central crop region. Both Algeria and Tunisia have seen their precipitation levels dwindle during spring, reducing yield prospects. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

May 12 2006 | Total wheat production for Northwest Africa
Total wheat production for Northwest Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) is forecast to be the second highest on record, at 10.4 million tons from 6.4 million hectares. This represents a 74- percent increase in production over last year's below-average crop of 6.0 million tons. Area is estimated up 1.2 million hectares from the 2005/06 level, and yield is forecast to be at a near- record 1.63 tons per hectare. The 1996/97 benchmark year recorded yield at 1.65 tons per hectare, with production at 10.9 million tons and area at 6.6 million hectares. Until early spring, rainfall in Northwest Africa was practically ideal, being well dispersed both geographically and temporally. All regions, including the large, normally drier area of central and southern Morocco, received significant planting rains, enticing farmers to increase sown area. Morocco has the most agricultural land and typically produces the largest amount of grains in the region. For 2006/07, Morocco is forecast to produce 5.5 million tons of wheat (3.0 million tons last year) from 3.1 million hectares (3.0 million), and a high 1.77 tons per hectare yield. Algeria has experienced the best overall seasonal rainfall of the three countries and is forecast to produce a record 3.2 million tons (1.5 million) of wheat from 2.3 million hectares (1.4 million). Tunisia has had average levels of precipitation this year, and as a result is expected to produce a bumper crop, but not a record. Tunisia is forecast to harvest 1.7 million tons (1.5 million) from 1.0 million hectares (800,000 hectares). Spring rainfall diminished in all regions of Northwest Africa creating recent dryness concerns for the crop, however soil moisture should have been adequate for the vast majority of the crops to continue development without problem. Some later planted fields however, with plants in their earlier stages, may have been slightly damaged. Overall, the relatively cool weather during the growing season likely mitigated dryness problems. Heavy precipitation during the harvest period is not expected to have significantly effected the Maghreb's estimated near-record grain crop. Northwest Africa is a large producer of durum wheat, where half of the production is typically accounted for by durum. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Jul 1 2005 | Algeria: Spring Dryness Cuts Wheat Production for 2005/06
Wheat production is estimated at 1.5 million tons, down 1.1 million from last month and last year's bumper crop as well. It is currently 28 percent below average. Algeria's wheat production dropped this month due to a very dry spring. The crop had experienced a season with beneficial winter rainfall and was poised to become an average-sized crop. However, this expectation is failing to materialize as conditions turned worse during spring with drought, and reports of rust afflicting the crop in the east. While winter grains were behind schedule due to exceptionally cold weather, farmers were relying on April rains that never came for a fast recovery. Estimated area is at 1.4 million hectares, down 0.6 million from last month and from last year. Area was reduced due to poor spring weather. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Dec 1 1998 | EGYPT: RICE OUTPUT LOWERED
Milled rice production is estimated at 3.1 million tons, down 0.4 million this month and down 15 percent from 1997/98. Total rice area is estimated at 0.5 million hectares, about 20 percent lower than 1997/98, but still exceeding the government target by about 60 percent. The decline in area planted from last year's level was due to the fact that some farmers were concerned that the government might enforce fines for violating the target area this year. Yield increased this year to a record 8.93 tons per hectare. This was mostly due to the increase in area cultivated with new high yielding varieties (short grain). The short grain "Japonica" variety comprises approximately 85 percent of the rice crop and is preferred by Egyptian consumers to the higher-yielding, long grain "Phillipini" variety. Rice is a major summer crop in Egypt, occupying 10 percent of Egypt's total cropped area. All of the rice crop is irrigated. Rice requires a special irrigation regime and its cultivation is largely restricted to the northern part of the Delta. It is often grown as a reclamation crop where the soil is fairly saline and in various stages of productively. Also, limited amounts of rice are grown in the middle Delta and in Upper Egypt. With irrigation water provided free of charge and a much higher profitability of rice cultivation compared to other traditional summer crops, farmers normally exceed the area targeted by the government for rice cultivation despite the prospect of fines of E 1000/feddan for those who violate their targeted areas. The collection of fines imposed on farmers who violate their target rice areas is rarely enforced by the government, and many farmers still owe the government a lot of money. Due to a high flood level of the Nile in 1998, the government has decided to forego the fine imposed on farmers who violated their target rice area this year. Fines from previous seasons remain payable.

Feb 1 2000 | Egypt: Rice Increased as Area Rises
Egypts 1999/2000 milled rice production is estimated at 3.5 million tons, up 10 percent from last month and up 33 percent from last year. Harvested rice area is estimated at 630,000 hectares, an increase of 50,000 hectares or a 9 percent jump over last month. According to a recent report from the U.S. agricultural counselor in Cairo, the Egyptian government has been (unsuccessfully) attempting to reduce sown rice area to just 378,000 hectares to better utilize the countries limited water resources. However, farmers have been reluctant to switch, and have continued to plant rice because of its higher profitability when compared to other crops.

May 1 2000 | Northwest Africa: Crops Reduced by Drought
Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisias 2000/01 wheat and barley crops are much reduced from last year due to drought. For Morocco and Algeria, this is the second consecutive drought year and is more severe this season. Morocco is forecast to produce only 1.2 million tons of wheat, down from 2.1 million last season. Barley is forecast at 0.6 million versus 1.4 million last season. For Algeria, wheat is forecast at 0.6 million tons and barley 0.2 million. Rains were near normal early in the season, but abruptly stopped in January. USDA field travel in Morocco revealed that many crops withered and died before heading. In Tunisia, hot humid weather late in the season caused wheat production to fall to 0.8 million tons, down from 1.4 million in 1999/2000. Barley output is reduced to only 0.1 million tons. Total wheat and barley for the three countries is forecast at 3.4 million tons, down from 7.4 million last year and a record high of 17.4 million in 1996/97.

Dec 1 2000 | Egypt: Rice Production Increased Due to Higher Yields
Rice production in Egypt for 2000/01 is estimated at 3.9 million tons milled basis, up 11 percent from last month, and 3 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 650 thousand hectares, up 3 percent from last month virtually unchanged from last year. Despite the governments ongoing effort to discourage rice farming with its inherent high demand on the countrys limited water resources, the profit margin continues to entice farmers to plant it over cotton or corn. The large increases in production recently, however, are largely a consequence of the use of higher yielding varieties. About 87 percent of 2000/01 rice area was planted with high yielding varieties. With Egypts favorable climate and reliable irrigation scheme, its rice continues to be one of the highest yielding in the world. 2000/01 rice area is well above the governments targeted area. With this additional rice, prices have fallen, and farmers are having trouble marketing their crop.

Jun 1 2001 | Morocco: 2001/02 Winter Grains Adjusted Upward Due to Large Crop in North
The Moroccan wheat crop is estimated at 3.0 million tons, up 0.5 million from last month and up1.6 million from last years drought ravaged crop. Although drought has struck Morocco for the third straight season, this years effects were concentrated exclusively on the southern and central regions. During the crop season, storms skirted along the Mediterranean Coast, providing timely, abundant rainfall to northern areas but failing to penetrate further inland and south. The northern provinces should produce a regional bumper crop but as a whole however, Morocco is estimated to produce a wheat crop just below the five-year average of 3.2 million tons. Barley production is estimated at 1.0 million tons, up 0.3 million from last month and 0.5 million from last years record low level. Barley, concentrated in the marginal lands that typically lie further inland and further south, has been hit especially hard. The 2001/02 barley estimate of 1.0 million tons is 0.8 million below the five-year average.

May 1 2004 | The rain-fed, grain producing nations of Northwest Africa
The rain-fed, grain producing nations of Northwest Africa enjoyed a second straight year of abundant precipitation. Northwest Africa is accustomed to cyclical droughts, and more commonly, conditions where one or two countries receive beneficial precipitation, while the other one or two nations remain moisture deprived and crop deficient. This offsetting effect didnt occur this year, so each country is estimated to produce a bumper crop of winter grain. Rainfall arrived early and in time for fall planting, enticing farmers to sow maximum area to the regions winter grains: wheat and barley. During the winter months, when plants are least water-dependent, little rain fell. Concerns were beginning to be raised until precipitation returned in time for spring growth. Rain continued during the critical late-March and early-April period when grains are in the sensitive flowering phase. Barring any sudden harvest-related problems, i.e., excessive humidity or dryness or possible locust infestation (which seems to be currently confined to regions south of the Atlas Mountains and away from the cereal-growing areas), this years crop should be on a par with last years high production. Harvest should begin in Southern Morocco during May and continue through northern areas of Northwest Africa into July. Total cereal production is estimated at 13.6 million tons (13.9 million last year), with 9.5 million tons (9.4 million) of wheat and 4.1 million tons (4.5 million tons) of barley. Morocco is estimated to produce 5.3 million tons (5.1 million) of wheat, Algeria is estimated to produce 2.9 million tons (3.0 million), and Tunisia, 1.3 million tons (1.3 million).

May 1 2005 | The Northwest African wheat crop is expected to be about average
The Northwest African wheat crop is expected to be about average, at 7.1 million tons. The forecast bumper crops in Algeria and Tunisia are expected to be offset by the poor crop anticipated in Morocco. Morocco, typically produces two-thirds of Northwest Africas grain. Northwest Africa started the 2005/06 crop season with significant autumn rainfall. By the beginning of December 2004, each growing region was at or above its normal precipitation level for fall. With the certainty of increased soil moisture, farmers were inclined to plant more area into winter grains. Shortly thereafter, conditions in Morocco deteriorated. Starting in early December, rainfall stopped. Little or no precipitation fell during the rest of winter until an intense but brief period of heavy rain occurred at the end of February and the beginning of March. The weather has since cycled back to one of prevailing dryness, which has provided scant moisture for wheat during its critical late growth period. The dryness was most severe in Moroccos southern growing provinces. Meanwhile, Algerian farmers have enjoyed abundant moisture, which has boosted crop expectations. Likewise, Tunisia also benefited from good rainfall totals. Tunisias precipitation has been both frequent and substantial throughout the season. With little irrigation, Northwest African countries depend on highly variable, seasonal rainfall. This seasons significant and well-timed rains that fell on both Algeria and Tunisia, have bolstered their prospects for a third straight year, of a large, rain-fed harvest. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)


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