CUBA (18 September)
Despite the remote passage of Hurricane “Isabel” in mid-September, heavy rains are nevertheless reported particularly in the eastern and central parts of the country. No significant damage to crops has been reported so far. Harvesting of the 2003/04 first-season cereal crops is advanced, and an average maize crop is expected. Production of paddy is also expected to be average but insufficient to meet domestic demand. Some 550 000 tonnes of rice will be required as imports in marketing year 2004 (January/December).