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Reference Date: 10-March-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Dry weather conditions at start of 2016 secondary maize cropping season

  2. Wheat prices declining

Dry weather conditions at start of 2016 secondary maize cropping season

Harvesting of cassava, the principal staple in the country, is currently underway. Planting of the 2016 secondary season maize crop, for harvest in June‑July, is normally completed in February. However, unusually dry weather conditions in January and February (see precipitation anomaly Map), may have delayed planting operations.

Average import requirement levels forecast in 2016

Agriculture contributes only about 8 percent to GDP, reflecting the predominance of the petroleum industry. The main food crops grown in the country are cassava and plantains, together with small amounts of maize (on average, approximately 33 000 tonnes per annum). Gabon imports the bulk of its cereal requirement through commercial channels, with cereal imports accounting for about 80 percent of the total consumption requirement.

In the 2016 marketing year (January/December), the cereal import requirement, mainly wheat and rice, is forecast at around 177 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.

Wheat prices declining

Prices of imported wheat, the most important staple, at high levels in the capital, Libreville, since early 2014 after the removal of price control measures, declined by 26 percent between July and December 2015, partly due to decreasing international prices. In December 2015, at CFA 1 073 per kg, prices of wheat flour were 14 percent lower than 12 months earlier but still 13 percent higher than 24 months earlier, when they started to increase.

By contrast, prices of rice increased by 14 percent between August and December 2015. However, in December 2015, at CFA 566 per kg, prices were 4 percent below the levels of 12 months earlier.

The average inflation rate, which increased from a low 0.5 percent in 2013 to 4.7 percent in 2014, mainly reflecting increasing food prices, declined to 2.5 percent in 2015 and is forecast to further decline to 1.6 percent in 2016, due to lower food prices and a reduction in Government spending.

In the last several years, rates of inflation were volatile, varying from the low levels of ‑1.4 percent and ‑1 percent in 2006 and 2007 to about 5 percent in 2008, declining to 1.3‑1.9 percent in 2009‑2011, and rising again to 2.7 percent in 2012.







Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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