|††||Crop Prospects and Food Situation|
Bumper 2006 cereal crops gathered in most LIFDCís
While the world cereal production is set to decline in 2006, in the group of 82 LIFDCís, output is expected to rise. With harvesting of the main 2006 cereal crops completed, or close to completion, in most regions of the world, FAOís forecast of the LIFDCís aggregate cereal production has been revised up slightly since the last report to 875.4 million tonnes, which is 2.1 percent above the good level of 2005. When the largest cereal producing countries of China and India are excluded, the increase in this yearís production is more pronounced reaching 3.5 percent.
Bumper cereal crops have been obtained in most parts of Africa, including the Sahel, Far East Asia and CIS Asia. However, outputs were reduced by dry spells during the growing seasons in Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Honduras and Nicaragua.
As a result of the improved harvests, and consequently supplies, per capita cereal food consumption is expected to rise in LIFDCs. The increase is expected to be most notable in Africa.
Higher prices drive up cereal import bills but also export earnings
Should the current FAO forecasts for cereal trade, prices and food aid for
2006/07 (July/June) materialize, the more economically vulnerable and
food deficit regions could face more elevated cereal import bills this
season than in 2005/06. The developing countries are likely to spend a
record US$41 billion on imports of cereals in 2006/07, up 18 percent from
2005/06. The total cereal import bill of the Low Income Food Deficit Countries
(LIFDCs) is also forecast to hit an all time high of US$21 billion, up
roughly 15 percent from the 2005/06 estimated level. These increases are
primarily price driven; given the strong rise in world grain prices during
the course of this marketing season while import volumes (on an aggregated
basis) are forecast to remain close to, or even decline from, the previous
seasonís estimated levels.
The average price increase in 2006/07 is projected at 35 percent for maize and 25 percent for wheat. As a result, the estimated per unit cereal import cost for most developing regions would be rising again this season considering also the fact that food aid shipments (in terms of cereals), which had already declined significantly in 2005/06, are assumed to be unchanged in 2006/07. At the current forecast levels, the developing countries would face a rise of around US$35 per tonne in their per unit cereal import cost while the rise would be US$32 per tonne for the LIFDCs, as a group.
|Import Bill (US $ million)||†||†||†||†||†|
|Developing countries||25 825||29 002||31 617||34 206||35 122||41 331|
|LIFDC||12 445||14 114||15 914||19 028||18 288||21 018|
|LDC||2 393||2 896||2 519||2 150||2 145||2 556|
|NFIDC||6 048||5 665||4 945||4 227||4 678||4 882|
|Total volume imported (000 tonnes)||†||†||†||†|
|Developing countries||177 642||172 248||167 665||183 619||183 920||183 133|
|LIFDC||82 864||81 941||80 862||96 096||89 251||88 823|
|LDC||17 321||21 254||18 601||21 862||19 614||19 129|
|NFIDC||34 597||32 191||31 788||36 827||36 888||34 205|
|Commercial imports (000 tonnes)||†||†||†||†|
|Developing countries||170 691||164 837||161 022||178 119||179 986||179 003|
|LIFDC||76 223||75 117||74 507||90 818||85 478||84 854|
|LDC||13 314||18 320||14 663||18 225||16 452||16 607|
|NFIDC||33 399||31 242||31 164||36 420||36 440||33 888|
|Per unit import cost (US $/tonne) 2/||†||†||†||†|
In general, wheat accounts for the largest portion of the cereal import
bill for most developing countries, which tends to exceed by a large margin
the imports of all other major cereals.
The overall value of wheat imports by the LIFDCs in 2006/07 is forecast at US$12.6 billion, up US$2 billion from 2005/06, mostly reflecting this seasonís higher prices.
However, this bill appears significantly lower when India is excluded.
The wheat import bill of the LIFDCs without India is estimated at US$10.8
billion, which would be US$600†000 above 2005/06 in spite of most other
LIFDCs countries reducing their imports due to improved domestic supply
The LIFDCs are also expected to spend at least US$4.4 billion on rice imports, which would represent an increase of some US$ 200 million over 2006, driven by slightly larger imports and higher international prices. Similarly the import cost for purchasing coarse grains by the LIFDCs in 2006/07 is put at nearly US$4 billion in 2006/07, up US$700 million from the previous seasonís estimated level. However, imports by China alone account for almost 30 percent of total volume of coarse grains imports by LIFDCs.
Therefore, deducting China from the total, the coarse grain imports bill of the LIFDCs comes to US$2.7 billion, US$500†000 below the previous seasonís level due to sharp declines in imports by most other countries.
|†||(................US $ million...........................)|
|LIFDC||12 445||14 114||15 914||19 028||18 288||21 018|
|Africa||5 519||6 441||7 085||8 466||8 522||8 607|
|Asia||6 506||7 155||8 166||9 859||9 006||11 525|
|Latin America and Cariibbean||263||317||389||422||470||557|
|Wheat||6 550||7 823||8 906||10 932||10 754||12 616|
|Coarse grains||2 698||3 245||3 312||3 408||3 237||3 984|
|Rice||3 196||3 046||3 695||4 688||4 297||4 418|
While the increase in international cereal prices this season is largely regarded
as a burden for those low-income countries which rely on world markets
for their imports, a few among them also export cereals and therefore,
for them, the higher prices are largely a positive development. It is
important to underline that total export earnings of the LIFDCs from cereals
is relatively small, accounting for no more than 10 percent of the world
total for most recent years. In 2006/07, the total export earnings of
the LIFDCs are forecast to approach US$4 billion, which would be around
US$500 million more than in 2005/06.
However, only a few LIFDCs are exporters, among which the combined exports by China and India account for nearly 40 percent of the total export earnings from cereals.
The other significant LIFDC exporters are Egypt and Pakistan followed by several smaller exporting countries, mostly in Africa.
|†||(....................................US $ million...................................)|
|LIFDC||3 280||4 841||4 821||3 831||3 544||4 004|
|China||1 050||2 179||1 865||763||954||971|
|India||1 444||1 531||1 628||1 365||907||812|
Cereal import bill forecasts for LDCs and NFIDCs
The combined cereal import bill of the Least-Developed Countries (LDC)
and the Net-Food Importing Developing Countries (NFIDC), which include
a list of nations agreed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to qualify
as beneficiaries under the Marrakech Decision on the Possible Negative
Effects of the Reform Programme, is expected to reach US$7.4 billion in
2006/07, up 9 percent from 2005/06.
All of this increase would again reflect higher international prices and landed costs (i.e. freights, insurance and handlings) while their combined cereal imports would be down almost 3 million tonnes compared to the previous season.
At the current forecast levels, the per unit import cost for the LDCs is likely to reach US$134 per tonne while for the NFIDC category, which includes much smaller food aid recipient countries in its composition, the per unit import cost could rise to US$143 per tonne in 2006/07, up US$16 per tonne from the previous season. Nevertheless, in all cases, the per unit import cost estimates continue to remain well below the peaks observed during the cereal price hike periods of the mid-1990s.
|GIEWS||††global information and early warning system on food and agriculture|