Moroccan Wheat Trade Pushes for Longer Import Window

Posted by Michelle Howard
Friday, April 04, 2014

Millers and wheat importers in Morocco have asked the government to establish a longer annual window for imports after scrambling to secure shipments this season, trade sources said.



Morocco, like other North African countries, depends on imports of staple cereals. It is expected to buy around 2.5 million tonnes of foreign wheat in the 2013/14 marketing year.



The country's import campaign typically runs from October to May when the local harvest starts. But this season, shipments did not get under way until January, condensing the shipment period and leading to a glut of cargoes at Moroccan ports.



To give greater visibility, Moroccan wheat trade federation FIAC and flour millers group FNM have proposed to the authorities that the import campaign start in September, trade sources said. In return, they would commit to buying 50 to 60 percent of the domestic crop available on the market.



No decision has been taken by the government, they said.



"The discussions on lengthening the next import campaign are in the very early stages," one Moroccan miller said.



No-one at Morocco's state grain agency was immediately available to comment.



The government regulates imports by setting tariffs at prohibitive levels while the local harvest is collected and then reduces them to low rates or zero to allow imports. It also offers subsidies to make it viable for importers to supply the domestic flour industry, whose prices are fixed by the state.



The authorities suspended wheat duties from January to April this year to kick-start imports, leading to a flurry of sales as buyers try to bring in cargoes before the April 30 deadline.



Despite heavy port traffic, with traders estimating 700,000 tonnes of wheat due for unloading in Morocco in April, the authorities do not plan to extend the current zero-duty window.



"The necessary volume for this season will be imported before the end of April, despite the congestion and logistical problems at the ports," a Moroccan grain importer said.



An earlier start to the import season in Morocco could be a disadvantage for its main supplier, France, in the face of growing competition from Russia and Ukraine.



Black Sea countries like Russia tend to dominate wheat exports at the start of the international marketing year, which begins in July, as they offload large volumes at aggressive prices.



French wheat tends only to become competitive with Black Sea grain after the first burst of Black Sea selling.



"In this new system, France runs the risk of being penalised," one French trader said. "Up till now, when the Moroccan import campaign began Black Sea wheat had already been heavily sold and was less competitive."
 


French exporters are already worried about Moroccan buyers turning to Black Sea wheat seen as offering more attractive prices for equivalent quality.



"The danger is that certain Moroccan operators say they prefer using Russian as their main wheat," Yann Lebeau, head of the Casablanca office of France Export Cereales, said at the lobby group's annual conference this week.



France should still claim about 50 percent of Moroccan wheat imports this season, he said.

 

(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Valerie Parent, writing by Gus Trompiz; editing by Andrew Callus and Keiron Henderson)

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Bulk Carrier Trends

GPA Sets Tonnage Record

The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 29 million tons of cargo, 3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and more than 700,000 auto and machinery units in Fiscal Year 2014.

Diana Shipping Invests in Diana Containerships

Diana Shipping Inc., a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase

Private Buyers in Iran Look to Boost Grain Market

One sign of change in Iran as it works toward a nuclear deal with world powers is the way it is feeding itself, with private grain firms beginning a slow return

Ports

GPA Sets Tonnage Record

The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 29 million tons of cargo, 3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and more than 700,000 auto and machinery units in Fiscal Year 2014.

Location of New Port Expansion Projects: Analysis

When it comes to port development, many governments now favour letting the market decide where expansion should take place, whereas most other transport infrastructure,

GAC North America Passes the Helm to Schensema

GAC says it  has moved Claus Schensema to Houston, Texas, where he will take up the post of Managing Director of GAC North America Logistics. Schensema brings

Container Ships

Evergreen Enhances UK and Ireland Services

Global container carrier Evergreen Line announced enhancements to its services to/from Dublin (Ireland) and Liverpool (Northwest England). From its hub in Rotterdam,

GPA Sets Tonnage Record

The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 29 million tons of cargo, 3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and more than 700,000 auto and machinery units in Fiscal Year 2014.

Diana Shipping Invests in Diana Containerships

Diana Shipping Inc., a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase

News

Webb Institute Ranked a Best Value College

Webb Institute, an undergraduate institute specializing in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, ranked number two on Money magazine’s list of Money's Best Colleges,

Corvus Energy, GMC Close Financing Agreement

Corvus Energy today announced that it has completed a strategic investment by Green Marine Capital (GMC) previously announced on May 5, 2014. Green Marine Capital,

Evergreen Enhances UK and Ireland Services

Global container carrier Evergreen Line announced enhancements to its services to/from Dublin (Ireland) and Liverpool (Northwest England). From its hub in Rotterdam,

Vessels

RS Class New Ships for the Caspian Sea

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) has signed a contract with Baku Shipyard LLC for the construction of three 38М high speed crewboats (designer - SHIPTECH,

North Sea Atlantic Joins the Technip fleet

On Saturday July 26, 2014, a ceremony was held in Bergen to officially name the latest new subsea construction vessel to join the Technip fleet, the North Sea Atlantic.

Master Marine Delivers Z Drive Towboat

Master Marine, Inc. delivered its first 2,000 hp Z Drive inland river towboat last month. The towboat represents the first vessel (Entech Design) of this series by the yard.

Logistics

Evergreen Enhances UK and Ireland Services

Global container carrier Evergreen Line announced enhancements to its services to/from Dublin (Ireland) and Liverpool (Northwest England). From its hub in Rotterdam,

Private Buyers in Iran Look to Boost Grain Market

One sign of change in Iran as it works toward a nuclear deal with world powers is the way it is feeding itself, with private grain firms beginning a slow return

Location of New Port Expansion Projects: Analysis

When it comes to port development, many governments now favour letting the market decide where expansion should take place, whereas most other transport infrastructure,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0989 sec (10 req/sec)