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Delayed Onset of Algeria Seasonal Rains at Start of Cropping Season

Delayed Onset of Algeria Seasonal Rains at Start of Cropping Season

09 December 2013

ALGERIA - Planting of the 2013/14 winter wheat and coarse grains is underway. In some central and western areas a delayed onset of seasonal rains may have affected planting operations.

Rainfall amounts and distribution in the coming months will be crucial for crop development and performance, reports FAO.

2012/13 harvest above average despite localized rainfall deficits

The 2012/13 grain harvest was completed in August 2013. Dry conditions during planting in the autumn of 2012 were followed by favourable rainfall and moderate temperatures in the spring/summer of 2013 in western grain production areas, while some eastern regions experienced periods of drought which negatively impacted crop development and yields.

The 2013 cereal output is estimated at about 5 million tonnes, similar to last year and 17 percent higher than the previous five-year average. Wheat output, at 3.2 million tonnes, declined by 6 percent compared to last year, but is still 15 percent above average.

The localized unfavourable weather conditions had a limited negative impact of on cereal output mainly due to the 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 two consecutive good harvests gathered in 2011/12 and 2012/13 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 5 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 increase slightly in 2013/14

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 percent of its domestic utilization.

The wheat import requirement for 2013/14 (July/June), is projected to marginally increase by about 3 percent to 6.20 million tonnes compared to the 6 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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