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Reference Date: 28-January-2014


  1. Above average cereal harvest gathered in 2013

  2. Import requirement of cereals in 2013/14 (July/June) is forecast at 4.4 million tonnes, 13 percent down on 2012/13

Planting of winter wheat and barley was concluded by the end of last year. In the eastern part of the country, rains and mountain snow moisture are benefiting winter crops. Widespread rain also benefited recharging of irrigation reserves for warm-season crops.

Above average cereal harvest gathered in 2013

Above average cereal harvest was gathered in 2013 owing to favourable conditions in both rain-fed and irrigated areas. The official estimates put the overall cereal harvest in 2013 at a record high of about 4.7 million tonnes, 54 percent above last year’s below average crop, affected by long dry spells in winter, and about 43 percent above the average. Wheat production, at 3.3 million tonnes, is 57 percent above last year’s outturn and the five-year average. At 940 000 tonnes, the barley harvest has increased by almost 88 percent compared to last year, and 40 percent above the average.

Cereal import requirements in 2013/14 forecast at below average levels

Forecast of cereal import requirements in marketing year 2013/14 (July/June) is put at 4.4 million tonnes, including 2.8 million tonnes of wheat and 1.3 million tonnes of rice. Despite above average domestic harvest, large import requirements are driven by Iraq’s aim to maintain three to six months supply of wheat in its food stocks, as well as commitment to supply each Iraqi citizen with nine kilograms of subsidised flour monthly. Iraqi traders often seek higher quality wheat with more protein and gluten for blending rather than the cheapest origins.

Cereal prices are stable mainly due to the subsidies

In December 2013, the Consumer Price Index stood, at by 0.4 percent compared to the previous month, and 1.6 percent compared to December 2012. The food inflation rate increased by 0.3 percent on monthly, and by 7.3 percent on yearly basis. Cereal prices remained stable compared to a month ago. Iraq’s Ministry of Trade, through the Public Food Distribution System, continues to subsidize basic staple food commodities (rice, wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar and baby milk formula).

Syrian refugees increasing in Iraq

As of January 2014, almost 213 000 Syrian refugees were registered in Iraq. The WFP continues providing food assistance to vulnerable Syrian populations in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. Most of the Syrian refugees have settled in the northern governorates of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. The operation in Iraq should reach about 186 000 beneficiaries with voucher assistance, food packages and school feeding.

Relevant links:
 As of Dec 2013, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 Main Food-related Policy Measures (From 1 Jan 2008 to 11 Oct 2011)
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2003, 1997
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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