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Reference Date: 11-November-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production down sharply in 2014

  2. Cereal production set to recover in 2015

  3. Cereal imports projected to rise during the 2014/15 marketing year (April/March)

  4. Cereal prices firm in October but higher than a year earlier

Cereal production down sharply in 2014

Cereal production in 2014 was down by 11 percent on the previous year’s level, at around 3.2 million tonnes. This reduction in output was led by maize, where the harvest was 22 percent lower, well below its levels of the last five years. This reflected a reduction in cultivated area, owing to the low market prices prevailing at planting time. Wheat production fell to around 1.4 million tonnes, 8 percent below the 2013 and average level, owing to bad weather during the growing season.

Cereal production set to recover in 2015

Planting for the 2015 maize crop will end in late November, whereas wheat sowing was completed in August. Official estimates show that, for both crops, the area sown recovered from the previous year’s level and is close to the average of the last five years. Assuming favourable weather conditions during the growing season, FAO forecasts production of 1.4 million tonnes of wheat and maize, close to the average level. The recovery in production levels is due mainly to a larger area sown, reflecting high demand on the local market, following the reduction in output in 2014.

Cereal imports projected to rise during the 2014/15 marketing year (April/March)

Total cereal imports for the 2014/15 marketing year (April/March) are forecast at around 3 million tonnes, with about 1 million tonnes of maize and wheat imported, respectively. This represents a 6 percent increase on the previous year, and nearly 22 percent above the average, reflecting the reduction in the cereal production in 2014.

Cereal prices firm in October but higher than a year earlier

Maize and wheat prices in October were unchanged from their September levels. Nonetheless, prices were above their levels of a year earlier, reflecting the reduced production of both crops in 2014 and continuing currency depreciation.









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