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Country Briefs

  Belarus

Reference Date: 16-December-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Latest estimates point to 5 percent increase in 2016 cereals production

  2. Exports of cereals on the rise in 2016/17

  3. Prices of wheat products rose in October

Latest estimates point to 5 percent increase in 2016 cereals production

Latest estimates of the 2016 cereal crop, harvested between July and October, point to 5 percent rise on year-to-year basis. Following an increase in the area planted, the cereal output is expected to reach 9 million tonnes, up 400 000 tonnes from 2015. Most of the projected rise is due to an increase of maize crop production which has tripled this year compared to 2015. Higher yields and larger area planted resulted in a 600 000 tonnes maize harvest in 2016. Wheat is estimated at 2.9 million tonnes, up marginally from last year.

Planting of winter cereals, to be harvested by mid-2017, has been completed successfully. A total of 1.6 million hectares of winter crops of grains and green fodder had been planted, with an year-on-year increase of 1.4 percent. Weather conditions are currently favourable for the survival of the winter crops. Recent remote sensing data shows good snow coverage, which is expected to protect the plantings against freezing.

Exports of cereals continue to rise in 2016/17

With an upward trend in cereal production in recent years, the country has become a net exporter of cereals. Total cereals exports in the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to increase by 19 percent from the previous year, reflecting abundant carryovers, to reach about 330 000 tonnes.

Prices of wheat products rose in October

The national average prices for wheat flour and bread have been rising over the past year following currency inflation in the country. The level of inflation of the Belarussian Rouble is reported to reach 12 percent in 2016. Prices of wheat flour were 7 percent above their earlier levels, while average prices of bread increased by 17 percent year-on-year as a result of steep increases in production costs. Since January 2016, the Government no longer sets the maximum price for bread.

By contrast, following a bumper crop this year, prices of potatoes declined by 9 percent in October and were more than 50 percent below their pick value of three months ago.