GIEWS Country Briefs

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Reference Date: 30-May-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable prospects for the 2014 wheat crop

  2. Cereal imports in the 2013/14 marketing year forecast close to last year’s volumes

  3. Rice and wheat prices at high levels

  4. Overall food supply has improved with record 2013 cereal production

The 2014 wheat production forecast to increase

Harvesting of the 2014, mostly irrigated, winter wheat is completed in the low-lying areas in the south and is expected to continue until the end of June in the northern hilly areas. FAO forecasts this year’s wheat production at a record level of 1.9 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s bumper output. The projected increase is mainly attributed to favourable weather conditions during the growing season and good supplies of irrigation water and fertilizers.

Sowing of the 2014 maize crop has recently been completed. FAO’s preliminary forecast puts this year’s maize output at 2.3 million tonnes, around last year’s good level.

Planting of the 2014 rice crop has just started and will continue until August. Early indications point to a decrease in this year’s rice output to 4.8 million tonnes, as yields are projected to return to average, after record levels in 2013.

Record 2013 aggregate cereal harvest

Recent official estimates of the 2013 aggregate cereal production have been revised upwards to a record level of 9.6 million tonnes, 10 percent up on the dry weather-reduced output of 2012. Prolonged and abundant monsoon rains, coupled with good input supplies, supported the recovery of production.

Cereal imports in the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) expected to remain high

The cereal import requirements in the current 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 521 800 tonnes, close to last year’s above-average level. Most of this volume is rice, imports of which are anticipated at 450 000 tonnes, slightly up from the previous year’s level, reflecting sustained demand. By contrast, maize imports in the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to decline to about half the level of 2012/13, or 50 000 tonnes, reflecting record 2013 maize production.

Rice and wheat prices at high levels

Retail prices of staple rice decreased slightly in March partly reflecting low export prices in India, the country’s main supplier. Similarly, retail prices of wheat declined in March from their peaks of the previous month, with the start of the 2014 wheat harvest, anticipated at a record level. However, rice and wheat prices in March 2014, remained 14 and 19 percent, above their levels a year earlier, respectively.

Overall food supply has improved across the country

Overall, the food security situation in the country is satisfactory following the record harvest, improved employment opportunities provided by development programmes and relatively regular supply of food to the local markets, including those in the hill and mountain areas. However, near-record prices result in reduced purchasing power and are a concern, especially for the low-income sections of the population.









Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2007
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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