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Reference date: 20-March-2015


  1. Early prospects for 2015 cereal production are favourable

  2. Cereal production in 2014 was sharply reduced

  3. Cereal imports expected at record level in 2014/15 marketing year

  4. Rice prices at record highs in February

Early prospects for 2015 cereal production are favourable

Planting of the 2015 main season rice and maize crops is well advanced and has benefited from favourable weather conditions so far. Initial forecasts point to a strong recovery in the area planted to maize and rice from last year’s reduced level, mainly in response to higher domestic prices and sustained demand. Assuming favourable weather conditions continue throughout the main season, early forecast point to a 38 percent increase in maize production from last year’s poor level and an 8 percent raise in that of rice.

Cereal production in 2014 sharply reduced by drought

Cereal production for 2014 was estimated at 2.9 million tonnes (rice in paddy terms), 22 percent down from 2013. The sharp drop in cereal production mainly reflects lower plantings in response to low prices at planting time, following increased imports under the USA-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Drought conditions during the main cereal season also reduced significantly yields of maize and the output declined by 34 percent from 2013.

Cereal imports expected at record level in 2014/15 marketing year

Preliminary forecast for cereal imports in the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) point to an increase of 12 percent over the previous year’s high level, to a record 7.9 million tonnes. The strong increase in imports mainly reflects the reduced 2014 cereal harvest. Maize imports are expected to rise by about 10 percent, while those of rice imports are anticipated to double their relatively low level of the previous year.

Rice prices at record levels in February

Rice prices reached all-time highs in February, reflecting a sharply reduced 2014 production, record low stocks and reduced import levels. Yellow maize prices increased further in February and were significantly higher year-on-year in main markets, as a result of the poor output and a strong appreciation of the local currency in the past months.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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