Reference Date: 3-July-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Abundant rains in mid-June improved prospects for the 2014 main season maize crop
Red beans plantings expected to further decrease in the 2014/15 agricultural year due to land diversion to black beans
Price of red beans continues to increase but at a slower pace. Maize prices remain relatively stable
Abundant rains in mid-June improved prospects of the main 2014 maize season
Planting of the 2014 main season maize crop is just concluded. After uncertain planting prospects at the beginning of the sowing period, because of very low precipitation, particularly in the main producing department of Jinotega, above‑average rains in the second dekad of June benefited field operations and early planted crops. Preliminary estimates point to a small increase in sowings from last year’s year same season level. Assuming favourable weather during the remainder of the season, as well as during the second and third cropping seasons (August-February) preliminary forecast point to an increase in maize output of 2 percent from 2013 and similar to the five-year average. However, concerns remain about the high probability of an “El Niño” event setting in late July and its impact on the 2014 aggregate maize production. El Niño conditions imply below normal rainfall levels and higher temperatures which could affect yields of the main maize season and plantings of the second season.
Red bean plantings expected to further decrease in 2014/15 agricultural year
Sowing of the 2014 first bean season is concluded. Area planted to red beans is expected to decline by 8 percent from last year’s already reduced level due to diversion of land to black beans. The increase in black bean production is driven by high export demand from Venezuela under the ALBA (Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas) trade agreement. Preliminary official forecast, point to an annual aggregate production (first, second and main third season) of 236 000 tonnes of red beans, slightly below the last year’s level. The forecasted production level is estimated to cover domestic consumption of about 114 000 tonnes and leave and exportable surplus of at least 46 000 tonnes.
Price of red beans continues to increase in June but a slower pace. Maize prices remain relatively stable
Prices of red beans, a main staple in the local diet, continued their increasing trend from the end of last year, but in June rose at a slower rate than in previous months. The price increases are driven by the sharp reduction in 2013 production of red beans due to area diversion to black beans. Prices in June were 10 percent up from the previous month and are three times higher than in June 2013. To mitigate further increases in prices, until the harvest in September, the Government has authorized tariff free imports of red beans from outside Central America of up to 20 000 tonnes.
Prices of white maize, the main staple in the country, increased seasonally by 8 percent in June, but remained below their levels of a year earlier reflecting ample supplies in the markets.