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Country Briefs

  Colombia

Reference Date: 08-March-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Planting of 2017 cereal crops underway under mixed weather conditions

  2. Cereal production in 2016 estimated at bumper level

  3. Cereal imports expected to remain at high levels in 2016/17 marketing year

  4. Rice prices stable; maize prices sharply decline in February

Planting of 2017 cereal crops underway under mixed weather conditions

Planting of the 2017 cereal crops is underway. No official data on plantings are yet available. Despite the dry weather conditions and below-average precipitations that predominated during the first 20 days of February in the northwest and southwest regions of the country, on the Pacific coast, early expectations are for sowings to increase as weather conditions have been more favourable than last year, which was impacted by the El Niño phenomenon. Support from the Government, particularly in facilitating access to inputs, is also anticipated to encourage sowings.

Cereal production estimated at bumper level in 2016

After two years of reduced cereal crops due to El Niño, cereal output for 2016 is estimated at close to 4.2 million tonnes or 16 percent above last year’s drought-reduced level. The increase mainly reflects larger rice and maize crop outputs. Improved maize yields in the second half of the year, due to the dissipation of the El Niño phenomenon, also contributed to the increase in cereal output.

Cereal imports expected to remain at high levels in 2016/17 marketing year

Cereal imports in the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 7.9 million tonnes, 4 percent above the previous year’s level and well above the country’s five‑year average, mainly reflecting high import demand for wheat.

Rice prices stable; maize prices sharply decline in February

Rice prices in February continued their general stability of the previous months and were below their levels from a year earlier as this year’s good harvest and recent imports continued to pressure prices lower.

Yellow maize prices declined sharply in February from their levels a month earlier and a year ago, reflecting ample supplies from the 2016 bumper maize crop and adequate import levels.