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Reference Date: 24-February-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Maize production in 2015 is forecast at high levels despite lower planting

  2. Aggregate cereal production in 2014 remained close to record levels

  3. Maize exports forecast to decrease in 2014/15 marketing year (April/March)

  4. Yellow maize prices decline in February, wheat flour prices at multi-year lows

  5. Below average rainfall levels cause drought in South-East and North-East regions

Maize production in 2015 is forecast at high levels despite lower planting

Harvest of the 2015 first season maize crop has begun. Early official production forecasts point to an increase of almost 4 percent from last year’s same season to 31.8 million tonnes, due to higher than anticipated yields which offset lower plantings. However, sharply reduced plantings during the second 2015 Safrina maize crop, to be harvested from May, is expected to result in a 3 percent decrease of 2015 aggregate (first and second season) maize production from last year’s high level to about 76.5 million tonnes.

Cereal production in 2014 remains close to record levels

Cereal production in 2014 reached almost 100 million tonnes (paddy equivalent) or 1.1 percent below last year’s record level. Early official estimates indicate a bumper wheat crop of almost 6.2 million tonnes, or 8 percent above last year’s good level and record. Last year’s high production mainly reflects increased plantings driven by high domestic and regional prices and favourable weather during the season. The 2014 maize production is estimated 2 percent below the 2013 record crop at almost 78.8 million tonnes. Better than expected yields offset lower plantings due to low prices and unfavourable weather at sowing time.

Maize exports forecast to decrease in 2014/15 marketing year (April/March)

Maize exports in the 2014/15 marketing year (April/March) are forecast to decline by 10 percent from last year’s record level, driven by the anticipated decline in the 2014 production, as well as strong competition from the United States of America and Argentina. Exports, however, are expected to remain still well above the country’s five-year average.

Yellow maize prices decline in February, wheat flour prices at multi-year lows

Yellow maize prices declined in February reflecting the entry into the market of the first season crop and ample stocks from two consecutive years of bumper harvests. However, prices in local currency, remained unchanged from a year ago due to the sharp depreciation of the local currency. By contrast, in US dollar terms, prices were almost 17 percent below their level from a year earlier.

Wheat flour prices in February remained unchanged and were at a three-year low. By contrast, wheat prices declined sharply in February. The downward trend in wheat and wheat flour prices is being supported by this year’s recovery in wheat production and adequate levels of imports.

Below average rainfall levels cause drought in South-East and North-East regions

Below average rainfall since December has caused drought conditions in the Northeastern, in particular the State of Ceara, and Southeastern regions of Brazil. As a result 936 out of Brazil’s 5 570 municipalities have declared a state of emergency. As of late February, the below average rainfall has not significantly affected main crops such as soybeans and maize. However, official forecasts point to below-average rainfall levels until the end of March, which could significantly affect crop yields during the ongoing Safrina season. The reduced availability of drinking water and hydroelectric power in major cities in the Southeastern region gives also cause for concern.











Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 1998
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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