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Country Briefs

  Nicaragua

Reference Date: 28-October-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2020 forecast at above‑average level

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2020/21 marketing year

  3. In September, prices of red beans were around year‑earlier values

Cereal production in 2020 forecast at above‑average level

The harvest of the 2020 main season maize crop was completed in September and production is estimated to be above average due to good seasonal rains that instigated large plantings and favoured yields. Similarly, the output of the 2020 minor season bean crop, gathered in August, is estimated at an above‑average level. This mainly reflects an increase in planted area, supported by high prices, which soared during the planting period due to high domestic and export demands amid the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Currently, the 2020 minor season maize and main season beans crops are at vegetative stage. According to satellite imagery, crop conditions are favourable supported by slightly above‑average rains since September. Weather forecasts indicate a high probability of average to slightly above‑average precipitation amounts in the last two months of 2020, raising prospects especially for yields of the maize crop. In the case of beans, which are more susceptible to the impact of excessive moisture, a close monitoring of pest infestations is required.

Harvesting of the 2020 rainfed paddy crop is ongoing and the irrigated minor season paddy crop will be harvested in November. Production is expected at an above‑average level due to increased plantings of both rainfed and irrigated areas, reflecting adequate rainfall amounts since mid‑May. The aggregate paddy production in 2020 is forecast at 415 000 tonnes, 15 percent higher than the previous five‑year average due to large plantings as well as good yields.

Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2020/21 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2020/21 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at a high level of 670 000 tonnes. The above‑average imports reflect an increasing demand for wheat‑based products as well as for yellow maize by the local feed industry.

In September, prices of red beans were around year‑earlier values

After a sharp increase between April and July 2020, prices of red beans dropped in August and remained stable in September due to increased market availabilities from the minor season harvest. The lower demand, which had elevated amid the COVID‑19 pandemic, also put additional downward pressure on prices. In September, prices were similar to the values of a year earlier.

Prices of white maize declined seasonally in July and August and were slightly lower year on year in September, reflecting the above‑average main season output. Prices of rice have been overall stable since June and, as of September, were about 6 percent above their values in 2019 due to the strong domestic demand amid the COVID‑19 pandemic.

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