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Country Briefs

  Dominican Republic

Reference Date: 25-November-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2016 forecast at bumper level

  2. Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year forecast to decline

  3. Prices of rice and maize remained stable in October

Cereal production in 2016 forecast at bumper level

Cereal production for 2016 is anticipated to increase by 2 percent from last year’s high level and reach 962 000 tonnes. Official reports point to no significant damage to cereal crops and minor damages to horticultural and fruit crops as a result of the excessive rainfall caused by the passing of Hurricane Matthew on 2 October in neighbouring Haiti. The increase in cereal ouput mainly reflects an above average 2016 rice production, which is the main cereal produced locally, and is expected to reach a bumper level of 920 000 tonnes (paddy equivalent). Increased levels of irrigation, made possible by improved irrigation infrastructure and more widespread use of higher yielding varieties, are expected to increase yields. Maize ouput is forecast to recover from last year’s drought‑reduced level reflecting the recovery in precipitation and the Government’s provision of subsidized inputs such as seeds of higher yielding varieties. Preliminary reports point to a good first season maize harvest and average planting levels for the second season, both of which concluded in October. Early forecasts point to a maize output of 40 000 tonnes in 2016, the highest level since 2013.

Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year forecast to decline

Cereal imports in the 2016/17 marketing year are forecast to decline sharply from last year’s high level and reach 1.7 million tonnes. Maize imports, which account for almost 70 percent of all cereal imports, are expected to decrease by some 12 percent reflecting this year’s recovery in output and high stock levels. By contrast, rice imports are forecast to increase reflecting high local demand.

Prices of rice and maize remained stable in October

Rice prices in October were relatively unchanged from the previous month but were moderately above last year’s level, reflecting seasonal trends as less product from the main harvest, concluded in September, enters the market. Retail maize prices in October were also unchanged and well below year‑earlier levels reflecting adequate supplies, as product from the recent harvest supplied local markets.