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Country Briefs

  Bolivia

Reference Date: 27-October-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production anticipated to recover in 2017 from last year’s drought

  2. Cereal imports in 2017/18 marketing year expected to decline from record levels

  3. Cereal prices generally stable in September and below year-earlier levels

Cereal production anticipated to recover in 2017 from last year’s drought

Cereal production in 2017 is forecast to recover from last year’s drought-reduced levels. The 2017 summer crops, including maize and rice, were harvested in May. Maize yields were marginally affected by dry weather conditions at the beginning of the season. By contrast, the summer rice crop was more impacted, as the dry weather reduced water availability. The 2017 winter crops, whose harvest is underway and will be finalized in November, progressed under generally favourable weather conditions. FAO forecasts 2017 cereal output at an average of 2.3 million tonnes. This mainly reflects an anticipated strong recovery in maize production, particularly during the winter season, and a good wheat harvest. Part of the recovery also reflects the support of the Government, in close collaboration with the private sector, to aide in the recovery of agricultural outputs from their drought-reduced levels of 2016, including the distribution of inputs at a lower cost. In addition, the Government has also increased the public purchase price of crops, particularly for wheat.

Cereal imports in 2017/18 marketing year expected to decline from record levels

FAO’s initial forecast for cereal import requirements in the 2017/18 marketing year (July/June) points to a sharp reduction from last year’s record highs of 824 000 tonnes to 521 000 tonnes. This mainly reflects a strong decline in maize imports, as domestic production was significantly affected in 2016 by drought. Wheat imports are also anticipated to decline, but at a smaller rate.

Cereal prices generally stable in September and below year-earlier levels

Prices of mostly imported wheat flour remained overall unchanged in September and were down from a year earlier reflecting abundant imports in the form of grain and flour, mostly from Argentina. By contrast, prices of yellow maize followed mixed trends across the markets in September, but were significantly below their year-earlier levels reflecting the good 2017 output and imports. Rice prices continued relatively unchanged, reflecting adequate imports from neighbouring countries that compensated for a decline in this year’s output.

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