The agreement to export Ukrainian grain over the Black Sea expiry on July 17 had no effect on Morocco’s grain purchases. While still importing grain, Morocco saw an increase in prices.
“A considerable amount of grain is imported into Morocco each year,” Omar Yaaqoubi, president of the National Federation of Grain Merchants, told MoroccoLatestNews that imports from nations beyond the Black Sea region are still being processed.
The head of the federation explained the rise in grain prices worldwide is being caused by “the Black Sea initiative’s cancellation, given that Ukraine was no longer able to export its wheat crop through the ports.”
The cost of grains increased by “about 30 dirhams per quintal, as it previously cost 265 dirhams and now its price is about 295 dirhams,” according to the head of the National Federation of Grain Merchants.
Prior to the agreement’s expiry, Morocco relied on the Black Sea region for up to 35% of its wheat imports; however, other sources of supply had to be turned to.
“There is abundance in imports from the European continent because this time coincides with the harvest season,” according to Yaaqoubi.
Morocco has maintained a goal of expanding its import partners, including nations like France, Germany, Lithuania, and Poland.
Morocco also turns to international markets to make up for the shortage brought on by inadequate output impacted by successive droughts.
Additionally, importers gain from government subsidies that are based on the reference price on the global market.
Morocco’s average annual consumption of wheat is approximately 10.5 million tons, while domestic output was estimated at 5.7 million tons throughout the 2017–2021 timeframe, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The National Grain Professional Office has also issued a request for proposals to import 2.5 million tons of wheat for a period of three months, which will be sufficient to meet needs through the end of this year.
Ships carrying wheat have started to arrive in Moroccan ports, and the National Federation of Grain Merchants is working to safeguard the supply process, according to Yaaqoubi. On average, monthly shipments of roughly 700,000 tons are anticipated to arrive.
Since most of the major producing nations are seeing plentiful output this year—as opposed to previous year, which had a dismal worldwide harvest—wheat will be more affordable in Morocco.
Ukraine typically supplies the global market with 45 million tons of grain annually. The UN and Turkey mediated the beginning of the Black Sea Initiative last year, under which Russia permitted the shipment of supplies of grain and other goods from Ukraine.