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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 07-October-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 September

Cereal production in 2016 anticipated at bumper level

The harvest of the main 2016 “de primera” cereal season is well advanced, although somewhat later than normal because of the late plantings. Output prospects are good reflecting generally satisfactory precipitation for crop growth following the dissipation of the El Niño event in early June. Planting of the second cereal season crops is virtually concluded and was carried out under normal weather conditions. Assuming normal weather conditions throughout the second growing season, latest forecasts point to a record aggregate (first and second) 2016 cereal output, mainly reflecting better yields for maize, as area sown is anticipated to remain near recent high levels. Total cereal production in 2016 is forecast to reach close to 1.9 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 September

White maize prices declined moderately in September with the beginning of the harvest, reflecting harvest delays and remained relatively below last year’s level.

Black bean prices, an important staple food, remained stable in September and moderately above their levels for the same month last year as harvest delays and reduced imports from Mexico impacted supplies in the market.