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Reference Date: 7-November-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Maize and wheat production in 2014 set to better last year’s level

  2. Lower cereal imports forecast for 2014/15 marketing year (October-September), but levels still high

  3. Maize prices fell in October, while price of beans remained stable

Maize and wheat production in 2014 set to surpass last year’s level

The 2014 spring-summer maize and wheat harvest is well under way. Despite a reduction in the area planted with maize, in response to low prices at planting time, the harvest is expected to be 6 percent larger than last year’s, and close to a record. This reflects higher yields owing to good weather during the growing season. The latest official figures show that total maize production in 2014 (spring-summer and autumn-winter, already harvested) will be close to 24 million tonnes. The 2014 spring-summer wheat crop is forecast to be 4 percent below its 2013 equivalent, mainly reflecting lower yields during the season. Nonetheless, given the good results of the main 2014 autumn-winter harvest, total wheat production is likely to be nearly 3.7 million tonnes, about 4 percent above its 2013 and average level.

Lower cereal imports forecast for 2014/15 marketing year, but still above-average levels

Owing to the high levels of production in 2014, cereal imports for the 2014/15 marketing year (October/September) are projected down by 5 percent on the previous year’s level. The steepest drop is expected in wheat, imports of which are set to fall by 13 percent. Maize imports (mainly yellow maize) are projected at 5 percent below their level in the 2013/14 marketing year, but still above the average of the last five years, owing to strong demand for animal feed.

Maize prices fall in October, but price of beans remains firm

After several months in which maize prices have remained stable at low levels, the price of white maize fell by nearly 2 percent in October, as the new harvest came on to the market. Maize prices are 6 percent below their October 2013 level.

The price of black beans was unchanged in October for the second straight month, having fallen in August. Prices are likely to fall further because most of the new harvest, which is currently under way and is forecast to be good, has yet to reach the markets. The price of beans in October was 6 percent below its level of a year earlier.









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