In order to support wheat imports, the National Interprofessional Cereals and Legumes Office (ONICL) has announced a good initiative. Between July 1 and September 30, 2023, subsidies will be provided for importing considerable quantities of milling wheat, up to 2.5 million metric tons.
The move follows a poor harvest this year, the result of a relentless drought that hit Morocco, prompting traders to anticipate a resumption of wheat imports by the Kingdom. The subsidies will mainly apply to imports from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, Argentina and the United States.
Under this subsidy program, importers will receive each month the difference between the cost of foreign wheat and a reference import price set at 270 dirhams per quintal (or 271.60 dollars per ton).
This move was seen by traders as an attempt to facilitate the importation of grain at lower cost from the Black Sea, although western European suppliers, particularly France, enjoy an advantage in terms of geographical proximity, according to traders.
During the 2022/23 campaign, which ends this month, Morocco has become the first destination for wheat from the European Union, with 4.7 million tonnes exported, surpassing Algeria which is more focused on Russian wheat.