No.1  February 2008  
   Crop Prospects and Food Situation

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Food Emergencies Update

Global cereal supply and demand brief

FAO global cereal supply and demand indicators

Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries’ food situation overview

Regional reviews

Statistical Appendix



    Early prospects point to the possibility of a significant increase in world cereal production in 2008, mainly following expansion of winter grain plantings in Europe and the United States coupled with generally satisfactory weather conditions.

    International prices of most cereals remain high and some are still on the increase. Continuing strong demand and dwindling stocks are providing the backdrop to a prevailing tight global cereal supply and demand situation in the current 2007/08 marketing season, keeping upward pressure on international markets.

    Cereal imports of the LIFDCs as a group in 2007/08 are forecast to decline by about 2 percent but as a result of soaring international cereal prices and freight rates, the cereal import bill is projected to rise by 35 percent for the second consecutive year. A higher increase is projected for Africa. Prices of basic food have increased in many countries across the world mostly affecting vulnerable populations.

    The aggregate level of world trade in cereals is expected to peak in 2007/08, driven mainly by a sharp rise in demand for coarse grains, especially for feed use in the EU.

    In North Africa, early prospects for the 2008 winter cereal crops are mixed but in Southern Africa the overall outlook is satisfactory, despite severe localized floods. In Eastern Africa, another bumper cereal crop was gathered in 2007 but poor secondary crops are been harvested in Kenya and Somalia.

    In Asia, early indications point to a 2008 aggregate wheat crop around last year’s record level. However, in several central Asian countries, particularly China, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, extreme cold weather has caused crop and livestock losses. In South America, overall prospects for the 2008 maize crop are satisfactory, but the outlook is uncertain in Argentina. In Bolivia, severe floods have resulted in crop and livestock losses.

Crop Prospects and Food Situation


FAO World Food Situation Portal

High food prices and market uncertainties have become a major global concern. As a result access to up-to-date information and analysis is becoming increasingly important. FAO has created an internet portal that brings together all relevant studies produced by the organisation with the view to facilitate research on the current developments in world food markets. The portal, named World Food Situation, is accessible from the FAO main web page at


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GIEWS   global information and early warning system on food and agriculture