The tariffs are expected to take effect June 1
By Diego Flammini
A U.S. trading partner is preparing to place high tariffs on wheat imports.
On Monday, the Moroccan ministry of agriculture announced it will reimpose tariffs of 135 percent on “common wheat” starting May 15, and tariffs of 170 percent on durum wheat beginning on June 1.
The local government had previously lifted these tariffs due to years of drought and insignificant domestic wheat supply which required imports to make up the balance.
But Morocco’s cereals crop this year is expected to be up 206 percent from last year.
The agriculture ministry projects a total harvest of 9.8 million tonnes, which includes 4.82 million tonnes of soft wheat, 2.34 million tonnes of durum and 2.6 million tonnes of barley.
Morocco’s government is reinstating the tariffs to protect its people.
These high levies will help with domestic use and product price adjustments, said Moe Agostino, chief commodity strategist with Farms.com Risk Management.
“The tariffs protect domestic supplies to have enough to feed their people and probably to try to control inflation,” he said. “The government needs to make sure it has enough food for its citizens.”
The U.S. ranks as one of Morocco’s top wheat suppliers.
In 2019, America exported $7.57 million of wheat and meslin to Morocco. This figure ranked the U.S. seventh out of the top 10. France exports the most wheat to Morocco, exporting $388 million worth of wheat and meslin there in 2019.
Farms.com has contacted members of the U.S. ag community for comment