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Reference Date: 19-June-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Near-record 2014 wheat production estimated

  2. Lower wheat imports in 2013/14 (May/April)

  3. Prices of wheat and wheat flour fell with the new harvest but still at high levels

  4. Overall food security conditions stable but localized food insecurity persists

The 2014 wheat production estimated at a near-record level

Harvesting of the 2014, mostly irrigated, winter wheat crop began in late March in Sindh Province in the south and is currently nearing completion in the main producing northern Punjab area. Excessive rains in May particularly in the northern parts of the country, which reduced yields somewhat, led to a slight downward revision of the 2014 wheat from the previous official forecast. As a result, FAO latest estimates point to a 2014 wheat output of 25 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s flood-affected crop and the second best on record.

Planting prospects for the 2014 maize crop, currently underway, are good, as a result of an anticipated increase in the area planted in response to sustained demand from the feed industry. FAO’s early forecast points to an aggregate 2014 maize crop (including the spring and Kharif seasons) of about 4.8 million tonnes, slightly above the record output of 2013.

Planting of the 2014 main Kharif rice crop is currently in full swing in the main growing provinces of Punjab and Sindh. The total area planted to rice this year is officially forecast to increase to 2.8 million hectares, slightly higher than the average level of the previous year. Assuming good weather conditions, and adequate availability of irrigation water supplies, FAO tentatively forecasts the aggregate 2014 rice production at 9.8 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s good level.

Lower wheat imports in 2014/15 (May/April)

Reflecting the near-record 2014 wheat production, wheat imports for the 2014/15 marketing year (May/April) are forecast to decrease from the high level of the previous year to 500 000 tonnes, which is still considerably above the previous five-year average. Pakistan is the world’s fifth-largest rice exporter. With the good rice production in 2013, the 2014 rice exports are forecast at 3.3 million tonnes, some 5 percent higher than the above-average level of the year before.

Prices of wheat and wheat flour fell with the new harvest but still at high levels

Prices of wheat and wheat flour, declined in most markets in recent months, with the advance of the 2014 harvest. Early concerns about a reduction in the 2014 output and low level of stocks, underpinned prices in previous months. Overall, however, wheat and wheat flour prices were still above their year-earlier levels.

In May 2014 the national CPI was up 8.3 percent relative to the same period last year. Compared to last year, the food component of the CPI increased by 7.4 percent, while the non-food component rose by 9 percent.

Overall food security conditions stable but localized food insecurity persists

Overall, food supply conditions are stable following consecutive years of relatively good harvests and adequate levels of imports. However, in 2013 the country was hit by severe floods for the fourth year in row. Last year’s floods in August and September caused widespread damage, affecting at least 1.5 million people, particularly in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Furthermore, a powerful earthquake in Pakistan’s remote western province of Balochistan on 24 September 2013 affected at least 300 000 people. In Tharparkar district (southeastern part of Sindh Province), food insecurity has further aggravated since early 2014, due to cereal production shortfalls as a result of poor rains for the second successive season, coupled with loss of small animals following a recent sheep pox outbreak.

In general, the high prices of main staple wheat are also a contributing factor for food insecurity, especially of the low-income households.









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: 2001, 2000
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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