This year’s grain harvest is estimated to be 4 million metric tons – more than last year but not enough to end the country’s need to import to meet its requirements.
For the 2014-15 harvest season, Algeria's cereal production reached 4 million metric tons, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year, Mohamed Belabdi, Director General of the country’s Inter-professional Office of Cereal (OAIC) told the Algeria Press Service. The total includes hard and soft wheat and barley.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s previous forecast was 4.3 million metric tons, based on the planted areas, which included 1.5 million hectares of hard wheat, 1.0 million hectares of barley, 600,000 hectares of soft wheat and 100,000 hectares of oats.
By 2019, it is estimated that Algeria’s total cereal production will reach 7 million metric tons as the result of an expansion in the irrigated area, greater use of fertilizers and high-quality seeds, and increased mechanization.
In June 2015, Algeria suspended duties on animal feed imports until the end of the year in an effort to keep its domestic market stable amid rising world market prices.
Algeria is among the world’s largest importers of grain. In the first six months of this year, its cereal imports totaled 6.93 million metric tons, 18 per cent more than a year earlier, according to Customs Today. Soft wheat imports were 2.74 million metric tons (+5.8 percent), barley 412,000 metric tons (+43 percent) and maize 1.78 million metric tons (+20 percent).
The government is reported to be trying to reduce imports in order to offset a fall in world crude oil prices, which have cut state revenues.