Morocco to suspend soft wheat customs duty on Nov. 1


Morocco will cancel customs duty on soft wheat on November 1 to ensure regular supply, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

To protect the local harvest, Morocco imposed a 135 percent customs duty which will last until October 31.

The move followed an exceptional cereals output this year of 10.3 million tonnes, including of 4.91 million tonnes of soft wheat, 2.42 million tonnes of hard wheat and 2.92 of durum.

The duty cancellation would ensure regular supply "in light of the slow pace of the collection of national output", the agriculture and fisheries ministry said in a statement. It gave no details.

The decision, which will enter into force after the approval of the government council, will enable importers to better plan reserves, it said.

Morocco has offered incentives for local millers to opt for domestic wheat instead of imports between mid-May and mid-October.

These incentives include a flat rate subsidy of 10 dirhams ($1.068) per 100 kg of soft wheat to millers using local wheat as well as a premium of 2 dirhams per 100 kg per 15 days for storage agencies.

Morocco’s wheat reserves cover 4.3 months of the needs of local mills, the ministry said.

Wheat supply is key to Morocco’s stability as bread and semolina are staples for the population of 35 million.


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