Algerian durum tariffs limit Canadian sales: CWB

(Commodity News Service Canada) — Stiff tariffs on durum imposed by Algeria in October are effectively shutting out all imports of the commodity to the country, according to a Canadian Wheat Board official.

Algeria is normally a key customer for Canada’s durum crop, but the US$200-per-tonne tariff currently in place is effectively shutting out imports from all destinations.

“The tariffs apply to everybody who wants to import durum,” said Bruce Burnett, director of weather and market analysis with the CWB in Winnipeg.

The large tariff, he said, was designed to protect local farmers and their prices during the harvest time.

Canada exported 483,500 tonnes of durum to Algeria in 2009-10, according to Canadian Grain Commission data, making the country the second largest destination for the commodity behind the U.S.

“Durum imports by Algeria have been effectively shut off by the tariff,” said Burnett. He expected it would eventually be lifted once the country moves through its own supplies and is in need of imports once again.

“Obviously we would like to see the tariff lifted, but that’s up to the Algerian government,” he said.

While Algeria is out of the international market for the time being, Burnett noted there is still good demand for durum from other customers, given the smaller global supplies of the commodity.

The CWB on Thursday raised its 2010-11 pool return outlooks for durum by C$4-$14 per tonne, citing steady world demand but tighter stocks. Poor-quality crops were also expected to lead to a wider spread between high- and low-quality supplies.

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