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Crops in Most Tunisian Regions Reportedly in Good Condition

03 April 2014
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

TUNISIA - The planted area for winter wheat and barley in 2013 is estimated at about 1.47 million HA, compared to 1.13 million HA planed in 2012. Most regions received sufficient and well distributed rainfalls in October, February and March, and crops are reported in very good condition.

Post estimates that total cereal production for MY2014/2015 will be around 1.90 million MT with wheat production estimated at 1.30 million MT and barley production estimated at 600,000 MT. In MY2013/14, Tunisia’s total cereal production was officially announced at 1.29 million MT. Tunisia’s official estimates are usually a source of controversy and contested by farmers and agricultural experts.

Tunisia has one of the highest rates of per capita consumption for wheat in North Africa, estimated at 258 kg/year with total wheat consumption at around 2.8 million MT per year. Wheat consumption is expected to remain high for the next few years. Post estimates Tunisia’s barley and corn consumption at about 850,000 tons per year for each product.

Tunisian wheat imports in MY 2013/14 are expected to reach 1.87 million MT, an increase of 20 per cent compared to wheat imports in MY 2012/13. Shipments from Russia, Ukraine, France and Italy accounted for the majority of Tunisia’s wheat imports. Tunisia’s wheat imports from the United States that usually consist of durum wheat imported by private millers, were absent in 2013.

Barley imports will reach approximately 600,000 MT in MY 2013/14, up from 520,000 MT in MY 2012/13 with Russia and Argentina dominating the market. Tunisia’s total corn imports in MY 2013/14 will be around 840,000 MT, which is 2.5 per cent increase compared to the quantity imported in MY2012/13. U.S. corn exports to Tunisia were absent in 2013 due to more competitive prices offered by Tunisia’s main exporters, Brazil, Argentina and the Black Sea countries.

The Government of Tunisia (GOT) continues to implement its strategy to boost cereal production that started in 2008. In 2013, GOT revised farm-gate prices for wheat and barley according to international prices and local conditions. Through its cereals office, the government continues to control wheat imports by issuing tenders to international traders with import criteria based mostly on price considerations.

Further Reading

You can view the USDA GAIN: Tunisia Grain and Feed Annual 2014 report by clicking here.

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