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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 02-December-2016


  1. Cereal production in 2016 anticipated at bumper level

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

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

Cereal production in 2016 anticipated at bumper level

The aggregate 2016 cereal production is forecast by FAO at close to 2 million tonnes, marginally above last year’s high level and well above the five-year average. The forecast reflects the favourable results of the main “de primera” cereal season, concluded in October, following the dissipation of the El Niño event in early June. Prospects for the second season, whose harvest will conclude towards the end of December, are also favourable, despite below average rainfall levels during the last 20 days of October. However, prospects for the dry corridor in the centre of the country remain somewhat uncertain as crops were affected by dryness in October.

Cereal imports 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 positive outlook for 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 are forecast at about 1.3 million tonnes, 28 percent below last year’s record level and below the five-year average.

Prices of maize and beans followed mixed trends in November

White maize prices continued their declining trend of the previous two months in November, following the good first season harvest and were well below their level from a year earlier. By contrast, prices of black beans, an important staple food, increased sharply as seasonal trends were strengthened by the lower-than-anticipated output due to lower yields for the minor second season, harvested in October.