The request to import the US wheat is in line with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Rabat and Washington.
Rabat – The National Interprofessional Office for Cereals and Legume (ONICL) has announced that a tender offer will open next month, allowing the country to import 354,000 tons of US durum wheat under a “preferential tariff import” quota.
The tender, in line with Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), will open on March 5, a statement from ONICL announced on February 17.
Interested parties wishing to participate in the tender should download the file relating to the offer from the ONICL website, the statement added.
The office said that the shipments should arrive at Moroccan ports by May 31.
Morocco’s cereal production dropped in the 2018-2019 crop year due to the lack of rainfalls.
In August of last year, Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries announced that cereal production in the 2018-2019 season reached 52 million quintals, down by 49 % compared to the earlier crop season.
This season, however, Morocco witnessed A good start with heavy rainfall across Morocco.
Morocco and THE US seek to boost trade and investments through their FTA. The countries signed the deal on June 15, 2004. The agreement entered into force in January 2006.
In July, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported that the volume of trade between Morocco and the US more than quadrupled during the 2006-2018 period, reaching approximately $5.44 billion in 2018, compared to $1.34 billion in 2006.
Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy, however, expressed concerns about the deficit resulting from FTAs with several countries, especially with Turkey.
The official warned that FTAs with other countries should result in mutual benefits.
The minister added that the deficit caused by the FTA with the US has reached $20 billion, including $15 billion in the hydrocarbon sector, and $3.5 billion in the aircraft sector, citing Boeing specifically.
Morocco’s FTA with Turkey carries more negative outcomes since the North African country does not import hydrocarbons from Ankara.