Regional wheat production in 1994 is forecast to fall compared to 1993, according to figures published by the Rome-based Food & Agriculture Organisation.

The outstanding exception is Morocco, where favourable weather and increased planting have increased output by 4 million tonnes to a record 5.5 million tonnes. Elsewhere in North Africa production was affected by dry weather. A drought in Tunisia cut output by about two-thirds, and dry weather in Algeria limited production. High temperatures in Egypt towards the end of the growing season kept production 10 per cent lower than in 1993.

The crops in Turkey have also been affected by unfavourable weather, and rains in Pakistan have reduced production by 7 per cent. Saudi production is down by more than 30 per cent as a result of government measures to reduce domestic output. Iran’s output was above average while Syria’s output remained virtually unchanged.

Wheat imports are forecast to drop slightly in most countries, except for Egypt and Pakistan.