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Country Briefs

  Chile

Reference Date: 16-November-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2016 estimated slightly down from last year’s high level

  2. Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year expected to increase from last year

  3. Wheat and maize prices stable in October, maize prices above year-earlier levels

Cereal production in 2016 estimated slightly down from last year’s high level

Cereal production in 2016 is estimated at 3.7 million tonnes, with a decline of 3 percent from last year’s high level but still above the five‑year average. Maize production declined by 25 percent compared to last year’s level, mainly reflecting lower plantings due to prevailing low prices at the beginning of the season and increased production costs. Planting delays due to adverse weather conditions in key‑growing areas also contributed to the decline. By contrast, wheat production has been estimated at 1.7 million tonnes, its highest level in more than a decade. The increase mainly reflects higher sowings in response to high local demand.

Planting of the 2017 wheat crop concluded in August and preliminary official estimates point to a contraction in area sown of 13 percent from last year’s high level, mainly reflecting the lower prices. Planting of the 2017 maize crop is virtually concluded, no official estimates are yet available, but the good weather conditions and prevailing high prices are anticipated to support increased sowings.

Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year expected to increase from last year

Cereal imports for the 2016/17 marketing year (April/March) are forecast to increase by 7 percent and reach 3.1 million tonnes. The increase mainly reflects higher maize imports following this year’s reduced crop and high local demand.

Wheat and maize prices stable in October, maize prices above year‑earlier levels

Adequate volumes of maize imports continued to keep yellow maize prices relatively stable in October although they were still higher than the corresponding month last year due to the reduced 2016 harvests. Prices of wheat were generally unchanged and down from October last year reflecting good 2016 outputs and adequate import volumes.