GIEWS > Data & Tools > Earth Observation
GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Country Briefs

  Guatemala

Reference Date: 11-September-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Production of 2020 maize crops forecast at above‑average level due to good yields

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2020/21 marketing year

  3. Prices of white maize and black beans declined seasonally in August

Production of 2020 maize crops forecast at above‑average level due to good yields

Harvesting of the 2020 main season maize crop is ongoing in the southern and northern producing regions and production is anticipated at above‑average levels as favourable seasonal rains boosted crop yields. A localized outbreak of Central American locusts, reported in mid‑July in the departments of Petén and Jutiapa, was effectively controlled by the local authorities with negligible damage to crops. Although there is no official estimate of plantings, high domestic prices and good soil moisture during the planting period, are likely to have instigated an increase in planted area.

Planting of the 2020 minor season maize crop, to be harvested from November, is underway amid overall adequate soil moisture levels. Precipitation amounts are forecast at average to above‑average levels in the September‑November period and are expected to benefit crop development. However, the anticipated above‑average activities of the Atlantic hurricane season until November, which could result in storms and heavy rains, warrants close monitoring.

Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2020/21 marketing year

Cereal import requirements have been increasing steadily over the last decade due to the strong demand for yellow maize by the feed industry, combined with the sustained demand of wheat‑based food products. In the 2020/21 marketing year (July/June), cereal import requirements are forecast at well a above‑average level of 2.3 million tonnes, with maize imports accounting for two-thirds.

Prices of white maize and black beans declined seasonally in August

Prices of white maize declined for the second consecutive month in August in line with seasonal trends. In August, prices were slightly lower year on year mainly due to increased imports from Mexico since early 2020. Prices of black beans also decreased in July and August as new harvests and the release of carryover stocks improved market availabilities. However, prices remained well above their year‑earlier levels after the upsurge in the March to June period driven by a sharp increase in demand amid the COVID‑19 pandemic. Similarly, prices of rice declined in August reflecting larger imports in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the same period last year. Prices were about 15 percent higher than a year earlier due to high export prices of the United States of America, the country’s main rice supplier.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.