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Country Briefs

  Ecuador

Reference Date: 14-September-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Production of 2020 maize crops anticipated at above‑average level due to good yields

  2. Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 marketing year anticipated at high levels

  3. Prices of yellow maize and rice declined seasonally in June‑August period

  4. Food security expected to deteriorate due to effects of COVID‑19 pandemic

Production of 2020 maize crops anticipated at above‑average level due to good yields

Harvesting of the 2020 minor maize crop, which accounts for 20 percent of the annual production, is ongoing in the key growing centralwestern regions. According to satellite imagery, crops are in good condition due to beneficial rains during the cropping season.

Production of the 2020 main season maize crop, completed in July, is estimated to have increased further from the good volume obtained last year on account of good yields. Improved rainfall amounts in the February‑April period replenished soil moisture deficits at the start of planting operations in January in the key producing province of Guayas. In the other main producing regions, beneficial weather conditions favoured grain‑filling of the mostly rainfed crop.

Aggregate maize production in 2020 is forecast at 1.5 million tonnes, a slight increase compared to the previous year’s level and about 5 percent above the five‑year average reflecting above‑average yields.

Harvesting of the 2020 minor season paddy crop, mostly irrigated, will start in October. Production prospects are favourable due to an expansion of the planted area, instigated by adequate supplies of water for irrigation at planting time in the key growing province of Guayas. As the main season crop, harvested in the second quarter of 2020, was affected by scarce precipitation amounts, the aggregate production of paddy in 2020 is forecast at 1.1 million tonnes, slightly below the five‑year average.

Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 marketing year anticipated at high levels

Cereal import requirements, mostly wheat grain, are forecast at 1.38 million tonnes in the 2020/21 marketing year (July/June), slightly higher than the previous five‑year average, reflecting sustained demand of wheat grain for both food and feed (shrimp) use.

Prices of yellow maize and rice declined seasonally in June‑August period

Prices of yellow maize started to decline in June as the main season harvest improved market availabilities. As of August, prices were more than 10 percent lower year on year due to the good harvests obtained in 2020. Prices of rice also declined in the June‑August period in line with seasonal trends and they were similar their levels in August 2019.

Food security expected to deteriorate due to effects of COVID‑19 pandemic

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) of the United Nations, the economic effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic containment measures are expected to result in a negative Gross Domestic Product growth by 9 percent in 2020.

The anticipated economic downturn is likely to result in an increase in food insecurity of the households that predominantly rely on daily wages from the informal sector as well as of Venezuelan and Colombian refugees and migrants. In the April‑June period, the Government provided basic food items to poor households and delivered a one‑off USD 120 grant to nearly 1 million households through the contingency cash transfer Bono de protección familiar .

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