BOLIVIA (7 February)
With some delay due to limited soil moisture, planting of summer 2004/05 cereal crops has been completed by the end of December in the main producing departments of Santa Cruz and Chuquisaca. Crops are reported in general good conditions and their harvest is expected from April. At the beginning of January, with the arrival of first precipitations, planting of maize crop has also started in the southeast lowlands of El Chaco department where seeds availability is reported to be the main concern due to the negative impact of the prolonged drought that affected last year’s production. By the end of December, the international community has started to provide emergency food aid to drought affected families of El Chaco.
Wheat imports in marketing year 2004/05 (July/June) are forecast at about 280 000 tonnes, with a slight decline compared to the previous year’s volume due to the good output obtained.