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Reference Date: 22-June-2016


  1. Cereal production in 2016 anticipated to recover from last year’s drought-reduced level

  2. Cereal imports forecast to decline during 2016/17 marketing year, but remain above average

  3. Prices of maize and beans stable in May

Cereal production in 2016 anticipated to recover from last year’s drought-reduced level

Planting of the main 2016 “de primera” season, mostly maize and rice, is underway, although somewhat later than normal. With rainfall levels below average in May, most likely still an impact of the recent strong El Niño event, which is now dissipating, the Government encouraged farmers to delay plantings until the beginning of June. Generally improved rainfall in the first dekad of June favoured planting activity. Preliminary information points to a normal level of sowings should favourable conditions continue.

Official forecasts, assuming a return to generally normal weather conditions throughout the growing season, point to a strong recovery in cereal production in 2016 compared to last year’s drought‑reduced level, resting entirely on an expected increase in maize production. Total cereal production in 2016 is forecast to reach close to 1.8 million tonnes.

Cereal imports forecast to decline in 2016/17 marketing year

Cereal imports 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 1.6 million tonnes, an almost 8 percent reduction from last year. However, at this level, imports remain high and well above the country’s five‑year average, reflecting the strong demand from the feed sector.

Prices of maize and beans stable in May

Wholesale white maize prices remained relatively unchanged and moderately above their levels in May last year reflecting seasonal trends. A continued flow of imports and good prospects for the main “de primera” season have prevented strong price increases.

Prices of black beans remained unchanged in May, but were 16 percent up on a year earlier. Seasonal trends were strengthened as the flow of imports into the market, primarily from Mexico, have been less than last year and carryover stocks from 2015 have been lower than anticipated.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2010
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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