Morocco increased its wheat imports at the beginning of the current year, given an agricultural campaign characterized by low rainfall. This will result in a significant drop in national cereal production.
According to data published by the foreign exchange office, Morocco imported 805,000 tonnes of wheat last January, compared to 338,000 tonnes in the same period in 2021, which represents double.
The value of wheat imports from Morocco in the first month of the current year amounted to around 2.6 billion dirhams, compared to 901 million dirhams in January last year. This is due to the increase in grain prices on the international market.
The price of a tonne of wheat jumped at the end of January to 3,238 dirhams, against 2,669 dirhams a year ago. This represents an increase of 21.3%.
The cost of importing wheat from abroad has reached its highest level in the past five years, according to statistics from the exchange office.
According to official data, the value of imported food products, including wheat and barley, in the first month of the current year amounted to 6.8 billion dirhams, compared to 4.3 billion dirhams , an increase of 56.3%.
Morocco imports annually from abroad, notably from the United States of America, France, Ukraine and Canada, between 60 and 75 million quintals of cereals, including soft and durum wheat, barley and corn.
In Ukraine, which is experiencing a war with Russia, the government has imposed restrictions on the export of certain agricultural products during the current year, notably wheat, which will result in a significant increase in international prices.
Moroccan imports of energy products recorded an increase, reaching 7.9 billion dirhams at the end of January 2022, against 4.7 billion dirhams during the same period last year, i.e. a growth of nearly 67%.
Morocco has benefited from the rise in the price of phosphates and their derivatives, since the value of its exports last January amounted to around 7.7 billion dirhams, against 3.4 billion dirhams in January 2021, i.e. an increase of 4.3 billion dirhams.
In total, the value of Morocco’s imports in the first month of the current year amounted to around 50.9 billion dirhams, compared to 36.4 billion dirhams in 2021, an estimated growth of 39, 5%.
In terms of exports, their value amounted to 30.6 billion dirhams, against 24.9 billion dirhams last year; This represents a growth of 23%.
Morocco’s trade deficit at the end of last January amounted to around 20 billion dirhams, against 11.5 billion dirhams a year earlier. This represents an increase of 75.2%. Thus, the rate of coverage of exports by imports fell to 60%, against 68.3% last year.