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Algerian Cereal Officials to Visit U.S. Wheat Production Region and Federal Offices
July 24, 2015
ARLINGTON, Virginia — Algerians enjoy their bread and couscous. The North African nation is one of the world’s largest wheat importers. To help overcome an historical preference for French soft bread wheat, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) will bring two officials from the Algerian Office of Cereals (OAIC) to the United States July 25 to Aug. 1, 2015, to learn about U.S. durum and bread wheat crop quality and the U.S. wheat export supply system. USW worked with the California Wheat Commission (CWC), the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC) and the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council (MWRPC) to organize this team.

“There is an opportunity to foster demand for U.S. wheat to blend with Algerian standard flour,” said Ian Flagg, USW’s Regional Director for the Middle East, East and North Africa, who will travel with the team. “The goal of this visit is to demonstrate the versatility and quality of U.S. bread wheat classes and reinforce the value of U.S. durum wheats for semolina.”

The team starts its visit in Washington, DC, with meetings at USDA and USW. Janice Cooper, executive director of the California Wheat Commission, will join the team there to review Desert Durum® quality and supply. The schedule will continue in North Dakota and Minnesota where the team will see each all the components of the supply chain for both durum and bread wheats, including farm and grain elevator tours. They will also meet with university wheat breeders and get an in-depth look at the U.S. wheat transportation systems.

Flagg said bringing OAIC officials to the United States complements USW’s trade service and technical assistance in Algeria. That work, conducted with funds from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) market development programs, plays a pivotal role in proving the value and comparable performance of U.S. wheat to produce flour for baguette bread and other products as well as semolina for couscous in Algeria.

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
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2015 Algerian Trade Team – Members

Mr. Hakim Eddine Chergui
Director of Foreign Trade, OAIC

Mrs. Wahiba Bentoumi Merrouche
Purchasing Unit Manager, OAIC

Mr. Ian Flagg
Regional Director, U.S. Wheat Associates, Casablanca, Morocco

Mr. Alain Sellier
Program Manager, U.S. Wheat Associates, Arlington, VA

Ms. Janice Cooper
Executive Director, California Wheat Commission, Woodland, CA (DC Program Only)

The U.S. Wheat Industry Relationship with Algeria

Algeria imported 184,900 metric tons (MT) of U.S. durum in marketing year 2014/15 (June to May). That is a rather small portion of a market that imported almost 7 million MT of wheat and durum that year.

Cultural preferences and proximity give France a competitive advantage in bread wheat demand, though USW has seen success from helping prove the value and comparable performance of two U.S. wheat classes to produce flour for baguette bread.

In marketing year 2012/13, OAIC asked USW Regional Technical Director Peter Lloyd to develop blends of U.S. soft red winter (SRW) and hard red winter (HRW) for the Algerian baguette market. Lloyd also demonstrated how OAIC and local mills can blend SRW and HRW at local mills. In addition, USW has encouraged OAIC, which purchases and distributes most of the country’s imported wheat, to consider U.S. wheat when French wheat prices are high.

USW trade service and technical assistance in the region continues to play a pivotal role in U.S. wheat competitiveness and in motivating North African buyers to move toward more value-driven purchasing. Trade service activities show buyers how U.S. wheat can meet both quality and quantity requirements in the most profitable manner. Similarly, technical assistance in milling and baking help demonstrate the benefits of blending U.S. wheat classes with local and other imported wheat for specific end products while fostering more demanding quality specifications.

Algeria is a part of USW’s Middle Eastern, East and North Africa (MEENA) region, which is supported by office in Casablanca, Morocco, and Cairo, Egypt. USW works directly with end users and importers in the region to help them strengthen commercial links with U.S. export companies and by facilitating visits to the United States, like the one taking place this month.


The U.S. Wheat Sales to Algeria
1,000 Metric Tons*

Crop Year
(June - May)
HRW
SRW
HRS
White
Durum
Total
2015/16
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
20.9
20.9
2014/15
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
184.9
184.9
2013/14
0.0
0.0
0.0
23.1
67.4
90.5
2012/13
157.5
0.0
0.0
0.0
180.5
337.9
2011/12
103.8
0.0
0.0
0.0
74.1
178.0
2010/11
26.7
0.0
0.0
0.0
103.4
130.1
2009/10
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
248.0
248.0
2008/09
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
58.8
58.8
2007/08
772.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
80.7
852.9
2006/07
0.0
24.6
0.0
0.0
135.7
160.3
Data current through July 9, 2015

*One metric ton = 36.74 bushels

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