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Country Briefs

  Costa Rica

Reference Date: 14-December-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2016 forecast to increase but remains below average

  2. Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year expected to remain relatively high

  3. Rice and maize prices unchanged in October and below last year’s level

Cereal production in 2016 forecast to increase but remains below average

Cereal production in 2016 is forecast at 214 000 tonnes, some 8 percent up from last year’s drought‑reduced level but still below the five‑year average. The harvest of the first main cereal season concluded in September and early estimates point to a good output. Planting of the secondary season concluded in early October under favourable weather conditions. Planting of the minor third season, mostly in Atlantic regions, was delayed by Hurricane Otto. Preliminary assessments point to localized damages to crops due to the Hurricane. The Hurricane, which made landfall on 25 November, caused severe flooding and some 3 300 people were evacuated in the departments of Limon, Heredia and Alajuela in northern Costa Rica. FAO still anticipates that rice production (paddy equivalent) will increase by 8 percent above last year’s level to 205 000 tonnes. Aggregate maize production (first and second season) is forecast to increase by some 12 percent from last year and reach 9 000 tonnes, a downward revision of 1 000 tonnes from the previous forecast reflecting lower-than-anticipated plantings. However, at the forecast levels, rice and maize outputs would be below the five‑year average reflecting reduced plantings for the first season due to the late start of the rainy season.

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

Cereal imports, mainly maize and wheat, in the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are anticipated at about 1.2 million tonnes, close to last year’s high levels supported by strong demand from the feed industry for maize and the less‑than‑average cereal output in 2016.

Rice and maize prices unchanged in October and below last year’s level

Rice prices in October remained unchanged from the previous month and from a year earlier reflecting ample availabilities from the first season crop, which concluded in October, and imports. Maize prices were also relatively stable in October and below their year‑earlier levels reflecting the recent main season harvest.