Drought Impacts Wheat Yields in North Africa, While Egypt Rebounds with Strong Harvest

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Drought conditions have severely impacted wheat yields in Morocco and Algeria, according to the latest report from the European Commission's Monitoring Agricultural Resources (MARS) Bulletin. Meanwhile, Egypt is expected to have a near-average wheat harvest, bolstered by irrigation and favorable weather conditions.

Morocco: Negative Outlook for Wheat Production

Morocco's wheat and barley production is facing a bleak outlook due to a prolonged drought that impacted crops during critical growth stages. Rainfall arrived too late to help crops recover, resulting in a high rate of crop failure.

"Despite in-line-with-average rainfall, the yield outlook for winter cereals remains negative for both wheat and barley," the MARS Bulletin states. "Drought in December–February and persistently above average temperatures are the main causes of a season with a high rate of crop failure."

Satellite imagery reveals crop failures in Casablanca, Marrakech, and Oriental, with the regions of Béni Mellal and Souss-Massa showing well-below-average biomass accumulation. Only the Oriental region, where rainfall was abundant and evenly distributed, has maintained above-average biomass levels.

The report's yield forecasts range from a decrease of 23 % (soft wheat) to 25 % (durum wheat) compared with the 5-year average.

Algeria: Mixed Prospects for Wheat Production

Algeria's wheat production is characterized by a mixed outlook. While crops in the central and eastern coastal regions benefited from abundant rainfall and irrigation, resulting in above-average biomass levels, the northwestern regions experienced severe drought, leading to lower yields.

"In north-western regions, where sowing traditionally takes place in October–November, crops were strongly hampered by drought from October to February," the MARS Bulletin reports. "Whereas in the central and eastern coastal regions, where sowing mostly occurs in December, abundant rainfall in February and wider availability of irrigation enabled crops to rapidly recover."

Egypt: Strong Wheat Harvest Expected

In contrast to the challenges faced by North African countries, Egypt's wheat harvest is expected to be near-average, supported by irrigation and favorable weather conditions. Above-average temperatures and sufficient water supply from irrigation have created beneficial conditions for wheat growth and development.

Egypt's success in maintaining its wheat production is largely attributed to its reliance on irrigation, which allows for a more consistent water supply despite fluctuations in rainfall.

"Above-average thermal conditions have prevailed in the major cereal-producing regions of Egypt," the MARS Bulletin notes. "Crops have fared well thanks to the water supply by irrigation. Wheat and barley harvesting is close to completion. Our yield forecasts are above the 5-year average."

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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