Reference Date: 21-January-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Early prospects for 2013 winter cereal crops favourable
Crop production increased in 2012
Import requirements estimated to decrease in 2012/13
Wheat flour and bread prices at record levels
Early prospects for 2013 winter cereal crops are favourable
The planting of the 2013 winter cereals was completed under favourable weather conditions and crops are currently at dormant stage. Remote sensing data indicates that soil moisture is generally adequate so far. The provision of subsidized credit and high quality seeds by the Government, is expected to support production this season.
Cereal crop production increased in 2012
Production of the 2012 wheat main crop increased by about 9 percent compared with the 2011output and has been reported at some 245 000 tonnes. It is the second consecutive good harvest, and mainly reflects an increase the area planted. In addition, satisfactory weather conditions, improved agricultural methods and supportive government policies contributed to the larger cereal harvest.
Import requirements fall in 2012/13
On account of improved cereal production in the previous two years, the cereal import requirement of the country is expected to decrease by 16 percent in the 2012/13 marketing year (July/June) compared to the previous year. However, the country is still heavily dependent on cereal imports, mainly wheat. It is estimated that domestic production covers less than half of the country’s cereal domestic utilization. Imports are sourced mainly from the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The sharp increase in regional export prices since July 2012 will result in a higher cereal import bill in 2012/12.
Prices of wheat flour and bread at record levels
Prices of staples, wheat flour and bread, increased steadily in the second half of 2012 and reached record levels in November. The increase mainly reflects higher prices in the regional export markets, as the country imports some 60 percent of its wheat consumption requirements. Prices of wheat flour, in November 2012 were 10 percent higher than in June, before their increase, and some 20 percent up on their levels a year earlier. However, the good wheat output obtained in 2012 has resulted in a rate of increase in wheat flour prices during the second half of 2012 less marked than in the neighbouring exporting countries. Prices of potatoes, another key food staple, in November were 34 percent lower than at the same time a year earlier and low, following an improved production in 2012.