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Reference Date: 01-September-2016


  1. Secondary maize cropping season affected by erratic rainfall

  2. Wheat prices increasing but still at same levels of one year earlier

Secondary maize cropping season affected by erratic rainfall

The secondary season maize harvest, normally completed in June, was delayed and production has been affected by erratic rainfall. Unusually dry weather conditions in January and February delayed planting operations (see Precipitation anomaly Map). Although above average precipitation in March and April offset early seasonal moisture deficits, rains subsided in May, one/two dekads earlier than usual. According to remote sensing data, vegetation conditions in June were below average in several cropping areas (see NDVI anomaly Map).

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 almost 90 percent of its cereal requirement through commercial channels.

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 on the increase

Prices of imported wheat, the most important staple, increased in the capital, Libreville, by about 30 percent in the first semester of 2016. In June, however, at CFA 1 333 per kg, wheat prices were still slightly below their levels of 12 months earlier. By contrast, prices of rice were relatively stable in recent months and in June, at CFA 551 per kg, rice was traded at about the same price of one year earlier.

The average annual inflation rate, which declined from 4.5 percent in 2014 to 0.1 percent in 2015, driven by lower oil prices and a reduction in Government expenditure, is forecast to increase to 2.5 percent in 2016.

In the last several years, rates of inflation were quite volatile, declining from 5.3 percent in 2008 to 1.9 percent in 2009, to 1.5 percent in 2010 and to 1.3 percent in 2011, rising to 2.7 percent in 2012 and declining again to 0.5 percent in 2013.

Relevant links:
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 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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