Abdelkader Hamici, deputy general manager of Algerian processor Sosemie Eurl said he expects his country’s durum imports will rise to two million tonnes this year from 1.2 million because local production is down. Most of those imports will come from Canada.
For Algerian buyers, protein is less important than esthetics, such as colour.
“The colour plays a very big role in Algeria. When we see a nice yellow colour, we are happy,” he said, holding up his fingers and rubbing them together.
Algeria buys durum primarily for couscous and pasta production. The country’s durum imports are subsidized by the government, under the condition of selling durum and semolina flour at, or below, a certain set price.
“Canada’s durum is probably the best,” he said.
Canadian durum exporters could cash in on lower supplies due to weather-damaged crops in France and Australia. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is forecasting a strong export pace for durum this year, with total exports of 4.75 million tonnes.