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Country Briefs

  Peru

Reference Date: 20-March-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Uncertain prospects for 2017 cereal production

  2. Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing reach record level

  3. Cereal prices stable during first half of March, but maize prices higher than a year earlier

  4. Humanitarian response

Uncertain prospects for 2017 cereal production

Cereal production in Peru occurs on a continuous basis, with harvesting taking place across the country at different times in the calendar year. Planting of the first season 2017 cereal crops concluded in December under relatively dry weather conditions. However, rainfall levels greatly improved towards the end of the planting season. Maize plantings during this season account for up to 40 percent of the area sown annually. Preliminary official estimates point to a decline of about 10 percent in the level of sowings relative to the same planting season a year earlier (August-December). However, given that the bulk of the maize sowings are yet to happen, FAO’s initial forecast for 2017 is for maize output to recover from last year’s low level and remain about average. Rice output for 2017 is initially forecast to remain about average reflecting a slight decrease in sowings as well.

The forecast for 2017 is fairly uncertain due to excessive rainfall levels that affected the coastal areas of the country during the first half of March. A state of emergency has been declared in the most affected coastal regions of Lambayeque, Piura and Ica. According to OCHA close to 400 000 people have been affected by excessive rainfall levels and flooding in these regions. High water levels and flooding have also been reported in other areas across the country and in the capital, Lima. About 7 000 hectares of various crops at the national level have been destroyed and another 15 000 hectares were impacted by excess humidity. However, the regions of Lambayeque, Piura and Ica only account for 5 percent of the area planted to maize during the August-December period and crops are expected to be harvested by the end of March, therefore, at the national level, the impact to this crop may not be significant. By contrast, the national rice output in 2017 may be more impacted as the flood-affected regions represented some 16 percent of the total plantings in the country. The latest FAO forecast anticipates that 2017 cereal output will return to average levels from last year’s drought-reduced crop. This forecast does not yet take into account any of the potential losses due to the excessive rainfall levels.

Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year reach record level

Cereal imports in the 2016/17 marketing year (January/December) reached a record level of 5.2 million tonnes. This mainly follows higher imports of maize due to a strong demand from the feed industry and this year’s decline in output.

Cereal prices stable during first half of March, but maize prices higher than a year earlier

Prices of yellow maize in the first half of March continued their declining trend from the previous months. However, prices still remained slightly above their year-earlier levels reflecting the tight 2016 supplies as well as a high demand from the feed industry. Rice prices, by contrast, were unchanged during the same period from their level a month earlier and from a year ago. Wheat flour prices also remained stable.

In flood-affected regions of Piura, Ica and Lambayeque, increases of prices of most food products, including main staples chicken and potatoes, have been reported as new supplies cannot reach markets due to the lack of adequate road access.

Humanitarian response

Local and central Government agencies as well as humanitarian organizations, including WFP, have been mobilized to provide an immediate response to the most affected populations, particularly the 72 000 people who have been displaced or lost their homes due to the flooding. The response includes the establishment of temporary shelters, food distribution and hygiene kits. The Government has allocated some USD 750 million to the emergency response and USD 1.6 billion to post-disaster activities.