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Reference Date: 11-March-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Early forecast for the 2014 maize crop points to a sharp decline from last year’s record harvest

  2. Cereal exports forecast to decline in 2013/14

  3. Wheat flour and bread prices declined in February but still at high levels

Early forecast for the 2014 maize crop points to a sharp decline from last year’s record harvest

Planting of the 2014 main “zafriña” season maize crop is almost complete. Early estimates point to a significant drop in plantings from last year’s high level due to low maize prices and a shift to more profitable crops, including soybeans. Prospects for the 2014 first season maize crop, currently being harvested, are generally favourable, reflecting good weather conditions during most of the season.

The 2013 total cereal production is estimated at 5.2 million tonnes, marginally below its level in 2012. The slight decline reflects a sharp reduction in the wheat output, severely damaged by frost, being partially compensated by increased maize and rice outputs. Maize production in 2013 reached a new record of 3.9 million tonnes, as a result of an increase in the area planted and good yields due to favourable weather conditions during the season.

Cereal exports forecast to decline in 2013/14

Cereal exports in the 2013/14 marketing year (November/October) are preliminarily forecast to decrease by some 10 percent. This mainly reflects a decline in wheat exports, following the sharply reduced 2013 output, which are anticipated at about 300 000 tonnes, well below their levels in the previous marketing year. However, maize exports are forecast to increase by 20 percent to 3 million tonnes.

Wheat flour and bread prices declined in February but still at very high levels

Wheat flour prices declined by 8 percent in February, but they remained high following the frost-reduced 2013 crop and high export demand from Brazil. Bread prices declined by 17 percent in February, but were still at significantly higher levels than in February 2013.







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