|No.4 November 2009|
|Crop Prospects and Food Situation|
Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries
Food prices have stabilized in several regions in the past months but generally remain at above pre- food crisis levels
In LIFDCs food prices remain, in general, much higher than in the pre-food price crisis period of two years earlier (see special feature) despite declines in several countries. The high food price situation continues to give rise to concern for the food security of vulnerable populations.
In Eastern Africa, prices of cereals have fluctuated in a narrow range since July. By October prices of maize in the main markets of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania were 171 percent 80 percent and 68 percent higher than in October 2007. This reflects tight regional supplies following a second consecutive below average harvest in Kenya and congestions in the Mombassa port. In Sudan, prices of main staple sorghum have been on an increasing trend in the past two years and by September they were 190 percent higher than two years earlier.
In Southern Africa, prices of main staple maize have stabilized since May-June. In spite of bumper 2009 harvests, maize prices in October in Zambia and Mozambique were 59 percent, 58 percent higher than two years earlier and in Malawi, by September, maize quotations had more than doubled their level of September 2007.
In Western Africa, prices of cereals declined in October reflecting the new 2009 cereal harvest. However, millet prices in Mali and Burkina Faso were about one-third higher than in October 2007, while in Nigeria were still 73 percent higher than two years earlier. Substantial delays in cereal imports during 2009 have supported high prices of cereals in the sub-region.
In Asia, in Afghanistan, price of flour have declined in the past months with the bumper 2009 wheat harvest but by September remained 40 higher than two years ago. In Pakistan, prices of wheat flour remain on the increase and are some 70 above the pre-crisis level. In Sri Lanka and India rice prices have stabilized in the past months although are still 60 percent and 40 percent higher than two years ago. By contrast, in Bangladesh cereal prices have declined to the pre-2008 food-crises levels reflecting a good harvest and policy interventions.
In Central America and the Caribbean, in Honduras and Nicaragua prices of white maize have declined substantially with the arrival of the new harvest and by October are at the levels of two years ago.
2009 aggregate cereal production of LIFDCs put close to last year's record level
With the 2009 cereal seasons completed or drawing to a close in most regions of the world, FAO’s latest forecast of the 2009 cereal production for the 77 LIFDCs as a group points to a marginal decline from the record output of 2008. A substantial decline in cereal production is expected in India where the poor 2009 monsoon season rains are anticipated to result in a sharply reduced paddy crop. By contrast, in the largest producer China, cereal harvest is put 1 percent down from the record of 2008. When China and India, normally accounting for one-third of the aggregate output, are excluded production of the remaining LIFDCs increases by a significant 4.5 percent.
Bumper cereal crops were harvested earlier in the year in LIFDCs of Southern and Northern Africa and production recovered from the 2008 drought-reduced level in countries of Near East. Similarly, in countries of Asia, the 2009 wheat crop is estimated to be a record, notably in Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, but latest prospects for the main season rice point to a crop lower than the good 2008 harvest although still above average.
In Western Africa, where harvest of the 2009 cereal crops is well advanced, erratic rains have reduced production compared to the record of last year, notably in Niger and Senegal, and the aggregate output of LIFDCs is forecast to return to normal levels from last year’s bumper crop
In Eastern Africa, following two years of bumper crops, the 2009 aggregate cereal production is forecast to be reduced, notably in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, due to poor rains and civil conflict. It estimated that over 20 million people will need emergency food aid in 2010.
In LIFDCs in Central America and the Caribbean, dry weather associated with El Niño phenomenon has affected planting of the 2009/10 secondary cereal crops in Honduras and Nicaragua. Heavy rains in early November, that resulted in flooding and landslides, reversed the drought situation but were too late to avoid reductions in the areas planted.
Slow pace of 2008/09 cereal imports in Western Africa
With almost all subregions now into the new marketing year, latest information received in GIEWS by early October 2009 indicates that 90 percent of the LIFDCs aggregate cereal import requirements in the 2008/09 have already been covered by commercial imports or food aid. However, in Western Africa, where the seasons conclude at the end of October or at the end of December, the path of both commercial and food aid imports has been slow with only 60 percent of the import requirements have been received. This is likely to have influenced the high level of food prices in LIFDCs of the subregion during 2009 in spite of a 2008 record cereal harvest.
Table 4. Basic facts of the Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs)1 cereal situation |
( million tonnes)
|2007/08||2008/09||2009/10||Change: 2009/10 over 2008/09 (%)|
|Cereal production 2||910.8||945.7||939.6||-0.6|
|excluding China Mainland and India||297.8||311.2||325.3||4.5|
|excluding China Mainland and India||282.6||293.6||299.2||1.9|
|Per caput cereal food use |
(kg per year)
|excluding China Mainland and India||157.8||160.6||160.5||0.0|
|excluding China Mainland and India||44.7||44.9||47.1||5.0|
|End of season stocks 3||252.9||286.9||285.5||-0.5|
|excluding China Mainland and India||50.8||57.6||57.5||-0.2|
|1 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.USD 1 735 in 2006).|
2 Data refer to calendar year of the first year shown.
3 May not equal the difference between supply and utilization because of differences in individual country marketing years.
|Table 5. Cereal production1 of LIFDCs ( million tonnes)|
over 2008 (%)
|Africa (43 countries)||117.0||128.3||131.8||2.8|
|Asia (25 countries)||791.0||813.8||803.8||-1.2|
|CIS in Asia||13.9||13.4||14.4||8.0|
|- China (Mainland)||400.2||419.8||416.2||-0.8|
America (3 countries)
|Oceania (5 countries)||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|Europe (1 country)||0.9||1.8||2.0||11.2|
|Total (77 countries)||910.8||945.7||939.6||-0.6|
|1 Includes rice in milled terms.|
Note: Totals computed from unrounded data.
|Table 6.Cereal import position of LIFDCs ( thousand tonnes)|
|2007/08 or 2008||2008/09 or 2009||2009/10 or 2010|
|Requirements 1||Import position 2||Requirements 1|
|Actual Imports||Total Imports||of which food aid||Total Imports||of which food aid pledges||Total Imports||of which food aid|
|Africa (43 countries)||40 234||45 043||2 916||38 677||2 426||39 263||3 055|
|North Africa||18 260||20 817||0||20 817||0||16 192||0|
|Eastern Africa||6 215||7 496||1 812||6 657||1 534||6 871||2 190|
|Southern Africa||3 265||3 702||463||3 702||463||3 151||361|
|Western Africa||10 829||11 214||487||6 696||278||11 271||419|
|Central Africa||1 665||1 813||155||804||151||1 778||85|
|Asia (25 countries)||39 969||46 182||2 191||43 752||1 472||39 960||1 402|
|CIS in Asia||5 399||6 357||82||6 357||82||5 596||40|
|Far East||23 792||23 774||1 448||22 163||775||21 069||1 127|
|Near East||10 778||16 051||661||15 232||615||13 295||235|
America (3 countries)
|1 666||1 783||171||1 783||171||1 816||183|
|Oceania (5 countries)||431||431||0||178||0||431||0|
|Europe (1 country)||339||88||0||88||0||88|
|Total (77 countries)||82 639||93 527||5 278||84 476||4 069||81 558||4 641|
|1 The import requirement is the difference between utilization (food, feed, other uses, exports plus closing stocks) and domestic availability (production plus opening stocks). |
2 Estimates based on information available as of early October 2009.
Note: Totals computed from unrounded data.
Table 7. Cereal import bill in LIFDCs by region and type|
(July/June, USD million)
|LIFDC||17 326||16 492||22 882||37 571||29 945||21 856|
|Africa||8 374||8 293||10 417||19 112||14 503||10 555|
|Asia||8 593||7 831||11 971||17 535||14 804||10 752|
|Latin America and Caribbean||270||283||392||630||482||418|
|Wheat||10 277||10 094||13 429||22 816||19 491||13 176|
|Coarse grains||2 562||2 256||3 312||4 453||4 432||3 405|
|Rice||4 487||4 143||6 142||10 301||6 021||5 275|
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. USD 1 735 in 2006), which is in accordance with the guidelines and criteria agreed to by the CFA should be given priority in the allocation of food aid.
|GIEWS||global information and early warning system on food and agriculture|