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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 20-March-2020


  1. Favourable conditions of 2020 winter cereals

  2. Cereal import requirements in 2019/20 forecast slightly below‑average volume

  3. Prices of wheat flour increased over last months

Favourable conditions of 2020 winter cereals

Planting of the 2020 winter grain crops, mainly wheat, finalized in October 2019 and crops will be harvested from July. According to remote sensing data, as of early March, conditions of crops were generally favourable in most croplands.

Planting of the 2020 maize crops, for harvest in August and September, is expected to start in April.

Harvesting of 2019 cereal crops was completed in September last year and the aggregate output is estimated at about 315 000 tonnes, 15 percent below the average level. The result is on account of a reduced production of maize due to a gradual decrease in planted areas over the last seven years. Wheat output is estimated at 100 000 tonnes, close to the 2019 near‑average level.

Wheat import requirements in 2019/20 forecast slightly below‑average volume

Total cereal import requirements in the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June), are forecast at 683 000 tonnes, slightly below the average level. Wheat import requirements, which account on average for about 90 percent of the aggregate cereals import volume, are forecast at 600 000 tonnes, just below the five‑year average level on account of the favourable outputs obtained over the last two years.

Prices of wheat flour increased over last months

Retail prices of wheat flour have been steadily increasing since September 2019 and, in February 2020, they were well above their levels a year before. The increase reflects the upward trend of export prices from the Russian Federation, the main wheat supplier to the country, which markedly rose between October 2019 and January 2020, and it is supported by the depreciation of the local currency.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple food, decreased in November 2019, increased in the following two months and remained stable in February 2020, at levels 7 percent above those in the corresponding month a year before, due to a year on year reduction in volume and quality of the tubers.

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