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Country Briefs

  Chile

Reference Date: 05-May-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production for 2017 estimated at sharply reduced level

  2. Cereal imports in 2017/18 marketing year expected to increase from last year

  3. Maize prices declined in March with new harvest, wheat price unchanged

Cereal production for 2017 estimated at sharply reduced level

Harvest of the 2017 wheat crop concluded in early March and early estimates point to a 19 percent decline from last year’s record level to 1.4 million tonnes, close to average levels. The decline in wheat output reflects a 21 percent decline from last year’s record sowing levels, mainly due to prevailing low prices. The harvest of the 2017 maize crop is fairly advanced. Early estimates point to a sharp decline in production for a second consecutive year as planting levels declined some 7 percent from last year’s low levels, mainly reflecting a second year of prevailing low prices. Ample maize availabilities in the subregion, particularly in Argentina, have pressured local prices downward and discouraged plantings. The 2017 maize crop has been preliminarily estimated at 1 million tonnes, its lowest level in more than eight years. Total cereal output for 2017 is estimated at about 3.2 million tonnes or 14 percent below last year’s level and well below average.

Cereal imports in 2017/18 marketing year expected to increase from last year

Cereal imports for the 2017/18 marketing year (April/March) are forecast to increase some 2 percent from last year’s high level and reach 2.8 million tonnes. The increase mainly reflects higher maize imports following this year’s reduced crop and high local demand. By contrast, wheat imports are forecast to remain virtually unchanged from last year’s high level.

Maize prices declined in March with new harvest, wheat price unchanged

Yellow maize prices declined in March with the beginning of the new harvest, after increasing in the past several months on tight supplies from the significantly reduced 2016 harvest. However, prices remained well above last year’s level.

Prices of wheat grain were unchanged in March and slightly below their year-earlier levels reflecting good availabilities from the 2017 harvest and large imports earlier in the year.