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  Belarus

Reference Date: 21-December-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Near‑average cereal output obtained in 2020

  2. Import requirements forecast above‑average in 2020/21

  3. Prices of wheat flour stable and near levels of year before

Near‑average cereal output obtained in 2020

Harvesting of the 2020 winter cereals (mainly wheat and barley) was completed in September, while harvesting of maize crops finalized in early December. The aggregate 2020 cereal production is estimated at a near‑average level of about 7 million tonnes. The outputs of wheat and barley are estimated at 2.2 million tonnes and 1.2 million tonnes, respectively, about 10 percent below the five‑year average levels mainly due to below‑average plantings. Production of cereals NES (mainly triticale) is estimated at a near‑average level of 1.5 million tonnes, while maize output is set at 1.1 million tonnes, well above average due to a large area planted.

Sowing of the 2021 winter cereals took place in October under overall favourable weather conditions and crops are expected to be harvested from July next year. Crop conditions were reported to be favourable as of early December.

Import requirements forecast above‑average in 2020/21

In the 2020/21 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements are forecast at 575 000 tonnes, about 15 percent above the five‑year average. Wheat and barley import requirements are forecast at 250 000 tonnes and 150 000 tonnes, respectively, well above the average volumes to account for the low level of stocks following the reduced domestic outputs obtained in the last three years. By contrast, maize import requirements are forecast at a below‑average level of 100 000 tonnes, amid the harvest of a favourable output in 2020.

Prices of wheat flour stable and near levels of year before

Retail prices of wheat flour remained overall stable since May 2019 and, in October 2020, they were close to their levels a year before.

Prices of potatoes, another food staple in the country, increased between February and June 2020, with seasonal trends exacerbated by strong demand from consumers amid concerns over the COVID‑19 pandemic. Prices seasonally declined from July to September 2020, due to increased market availabilities following the harvest of the 2020 tubers, and increased slightly in October, reaching levels about 10 percent above those in the corresponding month in 2019.

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