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Country Briefs

  Panama

Reference Date: 29-June-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production anticipated to increase in 2017

  2. Cereal imports forecast to decline in 2017/18 marketing year

  3. Cereal prices unchanged in early June

Cereal production anticipated to increase in 2017

Planting operations of the 2017 rice and maize crops are well advanced. Precipitation levels during the sowing period have been favourable across most regions of the country. According to FAO, rice sowings are anticipated to increase by about 2 percent from last year’s above-average level. Maize plantings are also expected to increase from last year’s level. The anticipated increases in plantings for rice and maize mainly reflect the continued Government support, particularly through the provision of seeds, official purchases and a guaranteed floor price for rice. If weather conditions remain favourable throughout the cropping season, FAO forecasts an increase in cereal output of 10 percent to 445 000 tonnes, recovering from the reduced levels of 2015 and 2016.

Cereal imports forecast to decline in 2017/18 marketing year

Cereal imports in the 2017/18 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at 632 000, sharply below last year’s record level. The expected decline mainly reflects the anticipated strong recovery in cereal output and carryover stocks from the previous year’s high import levels. Most of the anticipated decline in imports are expected to come from lower maize purchases.

Cereal prices unchanged in early June

Prices for the main staples, rice and maize, were unchanged in early June and below last year’s level for the same period, reflecting adequate imports. Prices for red beans, another major staple, were also stable in early June, but were significantly above their levels from a year earlier reflecting lower 2016 outputs.