Lhe causes of the significant increase in edible oil do not date from today. Indeed, the global and national markets have been suffering for several months from the effects of a spectacular rise in commodity prices. The causes of this increase in prices have indeed followed one another since the outbreak of the Covid-19 health crisis in 2020, coupled with the drought which has impacted the major regions producing raw materials in the world. Thus, structural and cyclical causes, of a world nature, have caused prices to rise at different times. Logistics costs, the rise in the price of a barrel of oil and the drop in production were accelerators of the price surge.
“In 2021, European production did not exceed 17 million tonnes for rapeseed, and that of other oilseeds (sunflower, soybeans, peas) 30 million tonnes. Which is far from the expected yields to meet the needs of manufacturers of biofuels and edible oils and crushers,” says an operator in the sector who prefers to remain anonymous.
The delicate situation described above was accentuated in 2022 with the outbreak of war in Ukraine, as the country is the main European producer of sunflower oil. “These effects were therefore naturally felt on the national market, which remains highly dependent on imports. That said, market players have tried somehow to postpone the impact of this increase on the selling price of table oils as much as possible, with the aim of preserving the purchasing power of the end consumer., recalls our source. To the question of knowing if the rise in prices is not a threat to the demand for table oil in Morocco, our interlocutor answers in the negative.
“In Morocco, the consumption of vegetable oil has shown an ever-increasing level for a decade. The Kingdom purchased between 2020 and 2021, 600,000 tons of soybean oil on the international market, making it the 7th largest importer in the world according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)”, he explains. And to add: “This demand has precisely increased with the health crisis, but also the confinement and it continues to grow today”.
Nevertheless, inflationary pressures are still weighing on the Moroccan consumer basket. This is why the Moroccan government has launched a battery of actions to reduce this impact, such as the abolition of customs duties on imported crude oils. The position of industrialists In a difficult context marked by the loss of household purchasing power, the soaring prices of raw materials and food products as well as supply difficulties, a good number of industrialists have been proactive and reactive in the face of to the disturbances observed on the world market.
“Our supply intelligence units have thus taken appropriate measures to limit the impact of successive international crises on our industrial activity. Our corporate citizenship duty as a leader in the national oils industry is to secure and maintain the Kingdom’s supply of edible oils.”entrusts a reference industrialist on a national scale. “Our group remains committed through several real actions in terms of supply and which are bearing fruit, since there has never been a shortage of stocks on the market. In an international context which is undergoing major disruptions, we are also trying to secure the alternative defenses available on the world market, in order to minimize the impact of this delicate situation on our customers, but also on the Moroccan consumer as much as possible.he adds.
The main issues related to the upstream and downstream of Morocco’s olive sector The rise in the prices of oilseed products that began at the end of 2020 demonstrated the importance of developing national production of oilseeds to reduce Morocco’s dependence on imports and improve food self-sufficiency. These ambitions are supported by the Moroccan inter-branch (Folea) and supported by the Maghreb oilseeds program, co-financed by the European Union and Terres Univia, which supports farmersMoroccan producers wishing to develop rapeseed and sunflower crops.
“With average needs of 1,080,000 tonnes of meal and 756,000 tonnes of seed oils mostly met by imports, Morocco has been heavily impacted by rising prices. Faced with the volatility of the world oilseed markets, the question of autonomy in vegetable oils and proteins in Morocco represents a major challenge., says our source. It should be noted that the development of the national rapeseed and sunflower sectors makes it possible to reduce dependence on imports, improve the balance of the trade balance and strengthen economic activity, particularly in the country’s rural areas. In addition, developing national production would reduce the impact on Moroccan household budgets. As a reminder, compared to June 2021, the consumer price index (CPI) recorded an increase of 7.2% during the month of June 2022.
This inflationary surge is the result of the rise in the index of food products by 10.6% and that of non-food products by 4.9%. According to the High Commission for Planning (HCP), the increases in the food products index observed between May and June 2022 mainly concern, among other things, “oils and fats” with 2.7%, knowing that the consumer price index increased by 0.5% in June 2022 compared to the previous month.
The ambitions of the strategy “Al Jayl Al Akhdar”
The professionals note a strong mobilization of the sector for the improvement of the food autonomy of the country. Achieving a reasonable level of coverage by local production remains a major challenge. “In Morocco, the oilseed industry has big ambitions. In its new strategy called “Al Jayl Al Akhdar”, the sector plans to double the areas sown to 80,000 hectares by 2030, including 30,000 ha in rapeseed and 50,000 for sunflower. It should make it possible to achieve a production capable of satisfying, by this deadline, 15% of the consumption needs of the internal market against 1.7% in 2019 and to generate 170,000 jobs”, confides our interlocutor. It should be noted, however, that the success of the strategy relies in particular on the support of the targeted farmers, the vagaries of the weather, as well as access to quality seeds with high yield potential. An essential lever for the development of oilseed crops.
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