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Grain and Flour Market in Tunisia & Libya

13 September 20178 min reading
Grain production in Tunisia is primarily wheat and barley. According to the data of US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) it is estimated that wheat production of Tunisia, which produced 912 thousand tons of wheat in the 2015/16 season, rose to 1 million tons in the 2016/17 season. It is predicted that Tunisia will produce 1,2 million tons of wheat In 2017/18 season. The leading products in Libya’s grain production are wheat and barley. Libya, which produced 200 thousand tons of wheat in the 2015/16 season, is estimated to produce the same amount of wheat in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. Libya’s barley production is around 100 thousand tons.

ulkeWheat and barley are in the foreground in the grain production of Tunisia and Libya. However, Tunisia, whose production is not self-sufficient, imports corn that it does not produce as well as wheat, and barley. Tunisia has such an economy that is on the way of development based on services, especially tourism, agriculture, textiles and apparel, light industries and oil and phosphate production.

In Libya, the share of the agricultural sector in the GNP does not exceed 3 per cent. Agriculture is carried out on the Mediterranean coast and with traditional methods. Desertification seen throughout the country adversely affects agricultural production and increases production costs. Furthermore, production has been adversely affected by the limited availability of arable land and the local labor force.

 TUNISIA’S POSITION IN WORLD GRAIN PRODUCTION Grain production in Tunisia is primarily wheat and barley. According to the data of US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS), Tunisia’s wheat production was recorded as 1.5 million tons in the 2014/15 season and 912 thousand tons in the 2015/16 season. It is predicted that wheat production, which is 1 million tons in 2016/17 season, will also increase to 1.2 million tons in 2017/18 season.

 Another important product that Tunisia produces is barley. Tunisia, which produced 773 thousand tons of barley in the 2014/15 season, reduced its barley production to 366 thousand tons in the 2015/16 season. However, in the 2016/17 season Tunisia increased this amount to 375 thousand tons. It is predicted that Tunisia will produce 500 thousand tons of barley in 2017/18 season,

 The leading product in Tunisia’s grain consumption is wheat. According to the data of USDA, the country consumed 2.9 million tons of wheat in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, and it is estimated that it has consumed 2.9 million tons of wheat in the 2016/17 season. Tunisia is expected to consume the same amount in 2017/18 season. With regard to the consumption of corn, it is seen that around 1 million tons was consumed between 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons. The estimated consumption for the 2016/17 season has risen to 1.2 million tons. It is predicted that Tunisia will consume 1.3 million tons of corn in 2017/18 season. Tunisia’s barley consumption was around 1 million tons in 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons. And the estimated consumption for the 2016/17 season and the predicted consumption for 2017/18 season are again 1 million tons.

 LIBYA’S POSITION IN WORLD  GRAIN PRODUCTION Wheat and barley are in the foreground in Libya’s grain production, Libya produced 200 thousand tons of wheat in the 2014/2015 season, and it produced 200 thousand tons of wheat in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons. It is predicted that Libya will again produce 200 thousand tons of wheat in 2017/18 season. The second most produced grain product is barley. Libya produced an average of 101 thousand tons of barley between 2014/15 and 2016/17. It is predicted that Libya will produce 100 thousand tons of barley in 2017/18 season.

 It is seen that the leading products in Libya’s grain consumption are wheat and barley. Wheat consumption was 1,6 million tons in the 2014/15 season and 1,5 million tons in the 2015/16 season. It is estimated that Libya consumed 1,6 million tons of wheat in 2016/17 season. The amount of wheat consumption predicted for Libya for the 2017/18 season is the same. Libya’s barley consumption is estimated to be 1,1-1,4 million tons between 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons. It is predicted that Libya’s barley production will reduce to 800 thousand tons in 2017/18 season. In Libya, whose corn consumption is estimated to be 640-720 thousand tons between 2014/15 and 2016/17 season, it is estimated that corn consumption will be 750 thousand tons in 2017/18 season. In addition, 200-250 thousand tons of rice was consumed in Libya between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

 TUNISIA AND LIBYA IN WORLD GRAIN TRADE The amount of wheat and corn that Tunisia produce is not sufficient and Tunisia imports especially wheat and corn. According to USDA data, 1,4 million tons of wheat were imported during the 2014/15 season, and this amount rose to 1,9 million tons in the 2015/16 season, and it is estimated that it reduced to 1,8 million tons in the 2016/17 season. It is predicted that Tunisia will import 1,9 million tons of wheat in 2017/2018 season. Tunisia, which imported 1 million tons of corn in the 2014/15 season, is estimated to have imported 1.2 million tons of corn in the 2016/17 season. Corn import is predicted to be 1,3 million tons in the 2017/18 season.

 In Libya, grain imports are mainly through wheat and barley. Libya, which imported 1,3 million tons of wheat in the 2014/15 season, imported the same amount of wheat in the 2015/16 season. The amount of wheat imported by Libya in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons is 1,4 million tons. Libya, which imports the most barley after wheat, imported 1-1,3 million tons of barley between the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons. It is predicted that Libya will import 700 thousand tons of barley in 2017/18 season. Libya’s corn import is between 581-800 thousand tons between 2014/15 and 2017/18 seasons. The country, which does not produce rice, supplies the country’s consumption with the import of rice. It is seen that Libya imported 200-250 thousand tons of rice during the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons.

FLOUR INDUSTRY IN TUNISIA AND LIBYA According to the Tunisia report of the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS), mostly durum wheat is produced. The per capita consumption of wheat in 2001 was 247 kilograms and in 2007 it was 325 kilograms, but Tunisia’s average annual wheat consumption is 256 kilograms per capita. The target of the government is to reach 2,7 million tons of grain production per year, whose 1,5 million tons is durum wheat. Thus, it will reach the figures necessary for being self-sufficient. For this reason, in order to encourage private investments in grain production, 25 percent subsidy for the cost of purchasing agricultural machinery and 40 to 50 percent subsidy for the cost of irrigation equipment are provided.

 According to the information on the website of the Tunisian National Grain Office, there are 25 flour mills, 18 of which are located in coastal areas, near the 4 major ports in the country. Mills’ annual wheat processing capacity is 2 million tons. Barley produced in the country is used especially for cattle feed production. 85 percent of barley is consumed as is feed, and 15 percent is consumed as food.

According to the International Grain Council (IGC) research report on Libya published in 2014, wheat is considered to be the most valuable food in Libya, and 80% of the food in Libya comes from wheat. Flour is used in the production of bread, pasta and couscous which make up Libyan food. In addition, wheat bran produced in Libya is sent directly to feed mills to feed animals. The milling industry in Libya consists of local and private mills. There are 42 flour mills in Libya with 3 million tons of soft wheat capacity per year and 8 semolina factories with 700 thousand tons hard wheat capacity per year. There are two large flour mills in the local sector that provide 63 per cent of total milling capacity. The total capacity of grain silos in Libya is 500 thousand tons.

 FLOUR TRADE IN TUNISIA AND LIBYA According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), wheat flour exports from Tunisia ranged between 4,000 and 59,000 tons between 2010 and 2013. Tunisia, which exported 59 thousand tons of wheat flour in 2011, reduced this amount to 4 thousand tons in 2012 with a record decline. In 2013, wheat flour export was 11 thousand tons. And import of wheat flour by Tunisia was between 51 and 50 thousand tons between 2010 and 2013. Tunisia, which imported 50 thousand tons of wheat flour in 2011, reduced this amount to 500 tons in 2012 and to 51 tons in 2013 with a record decline.

 According to FAO data, Libya, which exported 13-4 tons of wheat flour in 2010-2011, increased this figure to 716 tons in 2012 and to 247 tons in 2013. Import figures of Libya, which supply consumption with imports, also show a decline. Libya imported between one thousand and 265 thousand tons of wheat flour between 2010 and 2013. The wheat flour import of the country was realized as 2 thousand tons in 2010 and this amount increased to 265 thousand tons in 2011. The wheat flour import, which reduced in 2012 and 2013, decreased to 130 thousand tons and then to 5 thousand tons accordingly.

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