Latest estimates confirm a large increase in 2013 world cereal output; early prospects for 2014 wheat crop are mostly favourable.
The benchmark United States wheat export price declined in November on generally favourable 2014 crop prospects. Prices of maize and rice also eased somewhat and were at levels well below those of a year earlier.
Cereal imports of LIFDCs for 2013/14 are estimated to increase by some 4 percent, mainly reflecting reduced harvests in Africa and increased demand in Egypt.
In Western Africa, in several parts of the Sahel, especially in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal, crops and pastures have been affected this year by a late onset and early cessation of rains, which could lead to a new surge in food insecurity and malnutrition in the 2013/14 marketing year.
In the Central African Republic, a serious food insecurity situation has developed following civil unrest, with 1.3 million people, approximately 30 percent of the rural population, in need of emergency food assistance.
In North Africa, record 2013 wheat harvests were gathered in Egypt and Morocco while a sharp decline was observed in Tunisia.
In Eastern Africa, food security is improving gradually as newly harvested crops become available; the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has fallen by nearly one-third to about 9 million, compared to December 2012.
In Southern Africa, prices of cereals are near or at record levels in several countries, underpinned by tighter supplies in the 2013/14 marketing year. Dry weather has delayed planting of the 2014 crop in parts.
In the Far East, the livelihood of over 14 million people in the Philippines has been adversely affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Overall, the 2013 subregional aggregate cereal harvest is estimated at a record level.
In the Syrian Arab Republic and in Yemen continued civil conflicts result in severe food insecurity with 6 and 4.5 million people, respectively, requiring emergency food assistance.
In CIS countries the area planted to winter grains in 2013 declined compared to 2012 following reductions in the Russian Federation and Ukraine due to excessive rains.
In Central America, the 2013 main season maize harvest was estimated at good levels and prices have declined sharply in several countries in recent months.
In South America, the 2013 aggregate wheat crop, being harvested, is anticipated to recover from last year’s reduced level despite losses due to frost earlier in the season.