No.2††April†2007††
†† Crop Prospects and Food Situation

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Highlights

COUNTRIES IN CRISIS REQUIRING EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE1 (total: 33 countries)

Food Emergencies Update

Global cereal production brief

Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries food situation overview

Regional reviews

NOTE

Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries1/ food situation overview

FAO's first forecast for 2007 points to another good cereal crop in the LIFDCs

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For the LIFDCs as a group, FAO's early production forecasts indicate that the 2007 cereal production will be around the above-average level of 2006, when the output of the 82 LIFDCs was estimated at some 879 million tonnes, the sixth consecutive year of growth. This forecast is however highly tentative as the main season cereal crops are still to be planted in several regions of Africa, Asia and Central America.

In North Africa, where the main winter wheat crop is at the developing stage, prospects for the harvest from July are satisfactory in Egypt but in Morocco production is expected to decline sharply from the bumper harvest of 2006 due to insufficient rains at planting time and erratic precipitation during the growing season. Prospects are also mixed in countries of Southern Africa, where harvest of the 2007 main season coarse grains is about to start. Prolonged periods of dry weather have negatively affected the outlook in Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. While severe floods have resulted in localized crop losses in Zambia, Madagascar and lately Malawi, overall, good cereal outputs are still expected in these countries. In Mozambique, affected by dry weather in the south and floods in central parts, the outlook remains uncertain. In Asia, throughout the Far East, Near East and Asian CIS subregions, prospects for the 2007 wheat and early rice crops, to be harvested from June, are generally satisfactory with good outputs anticipated in most countries.

Table 2. Cereal Production1 of LIFDCs ( million tonnes)

2005 2006 2007 Change: 2007
over 2006 (%)
Africa (44 countries) 113.6 126.8 121.2 -4.4
North Africa25.429.525.9-12.1
Eastern Africa30.634.733.2-4.2
Southern Africa8.811.511.1-4.0
Western Africa45.547.547.5-0.1
Central Africa3.33.63.4-4.2
Asia (25 countries) 733.7 741.5 749.8 1.1
CIS in Asia14.112.913.43.4
Far East705.6715.1722.01.0
- China372.7383.7382.5-0.3
- India193.8191.5199.24.0
Near East14.113.514.56.9
Central
America (3 countries)
1.7 1.6 1.7 2.0
South
America (1 country)
1.7 1.6 1.7 1.9
Oceania (6 countries) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Europe (3 countries) 7.6 7.4 7.7 4.6
Total (82 countries) 858.4 879.0 882.1 0.3
1 Includes rice in milled terms.
Note: Totals computed from unrounded data.

Cereal imports to decline in most regions in 2006/07

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Following bumper 2006 cereal harvests in most LIFDCs, cereal imports in marketing years 2006/07 are anticipated to decline in most regions. However, at aggregate level, the cereal imports of the LIFDCs are forecast at 88.6 million tonnes, slightly above the revised imports in 2005/06, mainly reflecting India's requirements of 6.6 million tonnes of wheat to replenish stocks, which compares with less than 1 million tonnes of cereals imported in the previous year.

Slow progress in 2006/07 commercial imports and food aid allocations

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Out of the LIFDCís total 2006/07 cereal imports, some 5 percent is expected to be in the form of food aid. According to information available to GIEWS by late March 2007, only 49 percent of the import requirement had been covered by commercial imports or food aid deliveries/pledges. In particular, in Southern Africa, where the new marketing year 2007/08 starts in April, imports have covered only 66 percent of the total expected volume. By contrast, food aid deliveries/pledges to Southern Africa have been satisfactory. However, the estimated food aid deliveries/pledges remain well below requirements in most other regions of the world.

Table 3. Cereal import position of Low-Income Food-Deficit countries ( thousand tonnes)

2005/06 or
2006
Actual
imports
2006/07 or 2007
Requirements 1 Import position 2
Total
imports:
of which
food aid
Total
imports:
of which
food aid
Africa (44) 39 429 34 778 2 386 13 109 1 286
North Africa16 84314 938 248 646 24
Eastern Africa5 5134 693 1 3921 611 615
Southern Africa4 2393 045 4151 998 385
Western Africa11 25210 535 489822 241
Central Africa1 5831 567 6732 22
Asia (25) 42 956 48 969 1 911 28 145 489
CIS in Asia2 8712 953 2272 011 39
Far East28 63735 721 1 45321 901 350
Near East11 44710 295 2314 233 101
Central
America (3)
1 757 1 705 184 1 064 179
South
America (1)
1 011 946 30 631 30
Oceania (6) 416 416 0 0 0
Europe (3) 1 619 1 785 60 548 0
Total (82) 87 187 88 599 4 571 43 517 1 984
1 The import requirement is the difference between utilization (food, feed, other uses, exports plus closing stocks) and domestic availability (production plus opening stocks). Utilization is based on historical values, adjusted upon assessment of the countryís current economic situation.
2 Estimates based on information available as of late March 2007.

1.† The Low-Income Food-Deficit (LIFDC) group of countries includes food deficit countries with per caput annual income below the level used by the World Bank to determine eligibility for IDA assistance (i.e. US$1†465 in 2003), which is in accordance with the guidelines and criteria agreed to by the CFA should be given priority in the allocation of food aid.

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GIEWS ††global information and early warning system on food and agriculture