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Morocco agribusiness

We have revised our production forecasts for wheat, barley, poultry, beef, cheese and butter. In the case of wheat and barley, our new forecasts reflect the latest government output data for 2011. Meanwhile, our production forecasts for Morocco's livestock and dairy sectors anticipate slightly weaker growth in 2011. Production in these segments is demand sensitive and this quarter also sees downward revisions to our consumption forecasts for livestock and dairy produce, as well as for wheat and barley. Social unrest and the recent terrorist attack in Marrakech have led us to revise down our economic growth forecasts for 2011 to 2.2% from 4.3% previously. Although government subsidies have already been introduced, we expect weaker economic growth to have a moderate impact on the consumption and production of key agricultural products. Despite the downward revisions to our consumption expectations for 2011, our long-term demand forecasts for these subsectors are not significantly altered. Over our five-year forecast period, we expect growth in the consumption of poultry, beef, dairy produce and sugar to benefit from rising living standards and by an expanding population. Relatively strong production growth is also envisaged for most agricultural segments but, especially for sugar, wheat, barley, milk and poultry. Production growth in these segments will reflect the steady expansion of Morocco's economy, together with rising GDP per capita ratios.

Key Industry Forecasts

- Wheat is a staple food in Morocco. Based on new government data, we now expect wheat production to grow by 14% in 2010/11 to reach 5.69mn tonnes. Our revised long-term production forecast envisages a stronger average annual growth rate of 8% to 2014/15. Production growth will be demand-driven but will also reflect investments in the sector.
- Due to significantly slower economic growth, demand for wheat is now predicted to grow by a slightly reduced rate of 2.9% in 2011. However, based on rising demand for a wide range of wheat-based products, demand for the grain is expected to rise by 21% over the five years to 2015. Morocco is expected to remain highly dependent on wheat imports to satisfy overall demand.
* Other key grains include barley and corn, both of which are predominantly used for animal feed. Our newly adjusted forecasts envisage a 24% increase in demand for both grains in the five years to 2015. Consumption will benefit from a growing demand for animal feed.
- Livestock Production Forecast, 2009/10-2014/15: Poultry: 28%; Beef: 20% - fuelled by strong domestic demand for meat, as well as government support for modernisation and expansion initiatives.
- Dairy Production Forecast, 2009/10-2014/15: Milk: 24%; Cheese: 17% - fuelled by rising consumption demand, especially in the case of higher-value dairy products. Production will also benefit from the adoption of more productive technology and the introduction of higher-yielding, quality producing cows.
- Sugar Production Forecast, 2009/10-2014/15: 34% - supported by government initiatives to double production by 2013. Improvements are expected in key areas, including irrigation, improved farming methods and greater access to inputs such as fertilisers.

Key Macroeconomic Forecasts
- Morocco Real GDP Growth: Predicted to grow to 2.2% y-o-y in 2011 compared with 3.3% in 2010 and 3.8% in 2009. Over the longer term, we forecast GDP growth to average 4.0% between 2012 and 2015.
- Morocco Private Consumption Growth: Predicted to average at 2.0% in 2011 compared to 1.0% in 2010. The main driver of headline inflation is food, which accounts for 40% of the consumer price basket. Beyond 2011, we expect inflation to stabilise and we project an average CPI rate of 2.0% throughout the remainder of our forecast period through 2015.
- Morocco Unemployment: Predicted to fall to 8.8% in 2011 from 9.9% in both 2009 and 2010; expected to fall to 8.5% by 2012.

by S. C.
21 july 2011, World News > Africa