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Country Briefs

  Belarus

Reference Date: 12-October-2018

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Total production of cereals in 2018 estimated at near average level

  2. Imports of cereals in 2018/19 well above the five-year average

  3. Prices of wheat products virtually unchanged in August

Total production of cereals in 2018 estimated close to 2017 level

Harvesting of spring cereals finalized at the end of September, while that of winter crops was completed by mid-August.

Cereal production in 2018 is set at a near average level of 7.7 million tonnes, similar to the output of 2017.

Wheat production is estimated at 2.6 million tonnes, slightly below last year’s above-average level, while barley is set to rebound from the below-average level of 2017 with an output of 1.7 million tonnes. The year-on-year increase in barley production is mainly due to favourable weather conditions during the growing season, which resulted in better yields.

Harvesting of maize is ongoing and will be completed by mid‑October. Maize production is expected at 700 000 tonnes, close to last year’s level, as an increase in the area planted was offset by lower-than-average yields.

Planting of winter cereals for harvest in 2019 will be finalized by end-October under generally favourable weather conditions.

Imports of cereals in 2018/19 forecast well above the five-year average

Total cereal import requirements in the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 475 000 tonnes, about 9 percent below last year’s level, but well above the five-year average. Due to the lower quality of domestic production of wheat, higher shipments of milling quality wheat are expected from the Russian Federation. Total wheat imports in the 2018/19 marketing year are set at 250 000 tonnes, close to last year’s high level, and still well above the average.

Prices of wheat products virtually unchanged in August

Prices of wheat flour and bread remained virtually unchanged in August, but were respectively 5 and 8 percent higher than a year earlier, mainly on account of the weakening of the national currency.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple in the country, declined by 22 percent in August compared to the previous month, showing a seasonal decline due to the arrival of the harvest in local markets. However, prices in August were higher, year-on-year, on account of lower domestic production in 2018.

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