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Country Briefs

  Belarus

Reference Date: 30-October-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Planting of winter cereals for harvest in 2018 finished by mid-October

  2. Latest estimates point to 10 percent year-on-year increase in 2017 cereals production

  3. Exports of cereals forecast to increase in 2017/18

  4. Prices of wheat products stable over last six months

Planting of winter cereals for harvest in 2018 finished by mid-October

Planting of winter cereals, to be harvested by mid-2018, started at the end of August under generally favourable conditions. As of 4 October, 1.242 million hectares (97.4 percent of plan) of winter cereals has been planted. Overall, winter cereals are reported to be in good conditions, as warm weather in recent weeks contributed to the active growth of winter cereals and emergence of late sown crops.

Cereal production in 2017 estimated 10 percent above below-average level of 2016

Harvesting of the majority of crops had finished by the beginning of September, with only exceptions of maize and buckwheat. FAO’s latest estimates point to a 10 percent increase in cereal output from the below-average 2016 level. Aggregate cereal production is set at 7.8 million tonnes, following return-to-average yields. Wheat production is estimated at 2.8 million tonnes, up 18 percent from the below-average 2016 level. Similarly, barley output is set to rebound from the low level of the previous year to 1.4 million tonnes, based on the increased area planted and better yields.

Harvest of maize is lagging behind last year, with around 50 percent of the area harvested by the end of October. Taking into account the decrease in area planted together with lower yields, the maize output is expected to decline by 19 percent to 600 000 tonnes.

Exports of cereals to increase in 2017/18

With an upward trend in cereal production in recent years, the country became a net exporter of cereals since the 2010/11 marketing year. Total cereals exports in the 2017/18 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at about 360 000 tonnes, an increase of 16 percent from the previous year, reflecting the bigger cereal production in 2017.

Prices of wheat products stable over last six months

Prices of wheat flour and bread in September remained close to their values of six months earlier despite a good domestic harvest. Prices of wheat flour and bread were 10 and 6 percent, respectively, higher than their values of a year ago, underpinned by a weak national currency and increasing flour production costs. Moreover, the Government no longer sets the maximum price for bread since January 2016.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple in the country, started to decline in July with the new harvest. In September, prices were almost 60 percent below their peak values of July, but still more than 35 percent above their values of the year earlier. A decline in 2017 potatoes production is expected to keep prices above the previous year’s levels in the country as well as in other CIS countries, which depend on potatoes exports from Belarus.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.