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Above Average Cereal Harvest Gathered in 2013

27 August 2013

ALGERIA - The 2013 grain harvest is concluded. Favourable rainfall in the spring of 2013 more than compensated for dry conditions during the planting season in autumn 2012.

Western grain production areas also benefited from moderate spring and summer temperatures, reports the FAO.

Some eastern regions experienced periods of drought with expected below average production. Preliminary forecasts indicate that the 2013 cereal production reached about 5.5 million tonnes.

At this level, the crop is about nine per cent higher than last year’s already above average crop and some 27 per cent above the previous five-year average.

In addition to the weather conditions, the increase in production was also aided by timely availability of seeds and incentives for farmers such as seasonal interest-free loans, support for farm inputs, equipment leasing, and the Rural Renewal Programme aimed at revitalising the country’s rural regions.

The increased harvest heightened concerns about the country’s ability to store big volumes.

In November 2012, the Government announced plans to increase the nation’s grain storage capacity by 1 million tonnes adding to the current storage capacity, estimated at about five million tonnes.

A new joint venture signed in July 2013 plans to build 30 steel silos in the first phase for the Algerian Inter-Professional Office of Cereals.

Wheat imports expected to remain about the same as in 2012/13

Even in years of ample domestic production, Algeria relies heavily on grain imports from the international market, with wheat being the most prominent.

In the last five years, the country imported an average of almost 6 million tonnes of wheat, averaging 70 per cent of its domestic utilization.

Following the 2013 harvest, the total cereal import requirement in 2013/14 (July/June), mainly wheat and maize, is projected to decrease only slightly by about 3 percent to 8.96 million tonnes compared to the 9.26 million tonnes in 2012/13.

The countries exporting wheat to Algeria include France, Canada, Germany, the United States, Spain and Mexico.

TheCropSite News Desk

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