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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 23-May-2017


  1. Cereal production in 2017 forecast to moderately increase

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast to decline during 2016/17 marketing year

  3. Prices of maize and beans followed mixed trends in April

Cereal production in 2017 forecast to moderately increase

Planting of the main 2017 cereal season is expected to begin by the end of May. Weather conditions for the planting period are forecast to be favourable. Initial official production forecasts point to 1 million tonnes, about 3 percent above last year’s level. The forecast mainly reflects higher maize sowings, driven by strong domestic demand and robust local prices. However, there is a high level of uncertainty around this preliminary forecast as there is a moderate probability that an El Niño event may develop in the June to August period, affecting yields of first season crops and planting conditions for second season crops, which will begin in late August. Precipitation forecasts made in April point to a moderate probability of rainfall deficits in the northern part of the country during the secondary season.

Cereal import requirements forecast to decline in 2016/17 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to decline sharply from last year’s record level, reflecting the good 2016 cereal production. The bulk of the decline stems from lower maize imports for the 2016/17 marketing year (September/August). Total cereal imports in 2016/17 are forecast at about 600 000 tonnes, some 40 percent below last year’s record level and below the five-year average.

Prices of maize and beans followed mixed trends in April

White maize prices in April were significantly below their year-earlier levels and remained virtually unchanged month-to-month, reflecting well-supplied markets from the harvest in March and continued imports from Mexico. Prices of black beans increased moderately in April after declining during the two previous months. The increase is mainly due to the completion of the harvests in the northern region of Petén.

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