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Morocco gives millers incentives to decrease wheat imports

08 June 20182 min reading
Morocco 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($1.068) per 100 kg of soft wheat to millers using local wheat, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement. The benefits also include a premium of 2 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 100kg, it added. The measures enter into effect for locally harvested wheat between May 16 and Oct. 15. In the first week of the May, the government raised customs duty on soft wheat to 135 percent from 30 percent to reduce imports. The decision will 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. 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. Agriculture accounts for 14 percent of Morocco’s economy and employs nearly 35 percent of the workforce.  Wheat supply is key to Morocco’s stability as bread and semolina make up the staples for the population of 35 million. REUTERS    
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