The value of oil imports rose by $452.5m while wheat imports grew by $348.1m, according to the country’s Office des Changes which is responsible for compiling trade statistics.

Overall, there was a 51.3 per cent increase in total imports.

Morocco bought five times more wheat in January and February 2008 than it had during the same period of the previous year. Wheat imports rose from 175,800 tonnes to 894,100 tonnes, costing the country $397m.

The country’s cereal crop production fell by 77 percent in the year to May 2007, with a harvest of 2.54 million tonnes (MEED 31:03:08).