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Algeria forbids Spain from reselling its gas to Morocco

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Algeria has prohibited Spain from reselling its gas to neighbours Morocco and has threatened to terminate the gas supply contract it entered with the European country after Madrid announced plans to ship gas to Morocco, but stressed that none of that gas would be of Algerian origin, which angered the Algerian government.

A secret report revealed that Morocco wants to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Spain by reversing the flow of the pipeline while it moves to develop its own longer-term LNG import terminals.

The Algerian warning came on Wednesday after it emerged that Madrid was planning to resell gas gotten from Algeria to other countries, especially those seen as enemy countries.

Before the warning, Algeria had previously said it will stick to its contract with Spain despite withdrawing its ambassador over a dispute between the two countries relating to the Moroccan-controlled territory of Western Sahara.

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24 and the crisis generated by the conflict, African gas supplies to Europe have grown increasingly important and with no end in sight as the crisis has cast doubt on Russian energy exports, Algeria had entered deals to raise its gas supply to some European countries including Spain and Italy.

Algeria had also decided last year not to extend a deal to export gas through a pipeline running through Morocco to Spain that made up nearly all Morocco’s gas supply and is supplying Spain through a direct subsea pipeline and by vessel.

However, Spain’s energy ministry said that in no case would gas acquired by Morocco come from Algeria and that it had discussed the plan with Algiers in recent months.

“Morocco will be able to purchase LNG on the international markets, unload it at a regasification plant on the Spanish mainland and use the Maghreb gas pipeline to bring it to its territory,” the ministry said on Wednesday.

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Farmers lament as wild fire, heat waves cut grain harvest in Tunisia

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Farmers union in Tunisia has forecasted that output will fall well short of government hopes following heat waves and fires that are badly damaging the country’s grain harvest.

Farmers union official Mohamed Rejaibia, pointing to fires that began raging over much of the country last month, said that was no longer possible.

“The grain harvest will not be more than 1.4 million tonnes,” said Rejaibia, a member of the union’s executive office. “Some of it will be lost to fires and some perhaps during collection.”

The North African country has struggled with food importation costs driven higher by the war in Ukraine. That is largely because Ukraine and Russia account for a great amount of the global supply for grains, particularly wheat.

Earlier this month, agriculture minister, Mhamoud Elyess Hamza forecasted the 2022 grain harvest would reach 1.8 million tonnes, that is 10% up from last year’s harvest.

Wild fire has had a devastating effect in Tunisia. According to a statement released by the Tunisian Federation of Insurance Companies (FTUSA), the insurance industry in the country paid fire insurance claims totalling TND25m ($8m) in 2015 and the quantum jumped over the years to TND107m in 2020. That represented an average increase over 30% a year.

Another farmer, Abderraouf Arfaoui, in Krib, revealed that most of his colleagues had to harvest their grains earlier than usual.

“Usually we begin the harvest season in July, but this year we started on June 18… we are afraid of fires. We must watch our land day and night.

“We must harvest without waiting, even if that reduces the quantity and quality of the wheat, and when we finish the harvest we must watch our haystacks, too.”

 According to Thinkhazard, wildfire hazard is classified as high with more than a 50% chance of encountering weather that could support a significant wildfire that is likely to result in both life and property loss in any given year.

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Zimbabwe’s central bank raises key rate to 200%. Will that help its inflation surge?

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Zimbabwe’s economic woes continue as the Southern African country’s central bank said it was raising its key rate to 200 percent.

The decision makes Zimbabwe’s rate the highest in the world as it battles with soaring inflation persist. The rate was last raised to 80% in April from 60%.

The central bank a statement said it had more than doubled the rate in the push to try to contain inflation, which has been further aggravated by the war in Ukraine, expressing “great concern”.

The key rate is the interest rate at which banks can borrow when they fall short of their required reserves. They may borrow from other banks or directly from the Federal Reserve for a very short period of time.

According to thecentral bank governor, John Mangudya,rising inflation has depressed demand and consumer confidence and if left unchecked will wipe out the significant economic gains made over the past two years.

Zimbabwe’s economy is in deep crisis, including a withdrawal of international donors because of unsustainable debt with inflation rate in Zimbabwe averaging 80.42 percent between 2009 and 2022.

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