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Country Briefs

  El Salvador

Reference Date: 27-April-2021

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Land preparation for sowing of 2021 main season maize crop ongoing

  2. Cereal production in 2020 officially estimated at above‑average level

  3. Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 forecast at high levels

  4. Prices of white maize nearly 15 percent lower year on year in March

Land preparation for sowing of 2021 main season maize crop ongoing

Ahead of the start of the 2021 main season maize crop, land preparation is ongoing under favourable weather conditions. The weather forecast points to average precipitation and temperature in the May‑July period, which coincides with crop development and flowering stages, boosting prospects for crop yields. In early April, Central American locusts (Schistocerca piceifrons) were reported in the central department of San Vicente, but the implementation of timely measures by the Ministry of Agriculture successfully controlled the outbreak.

Cereal production in 2020 officially estimated at above‑average level

The 2020 cereal production is officially estimated at a well above‑average level of 1 million tonnes, with maize accounting for nearly 90 percent. The above‑average maize output in 2020 is mainly due to excellent yields, reflecting favourable weather conditions. The passage of Tropical Storm Amanda in June 2020 and hurricanes Eta and Iota in November 2020 had only a marginal impact on maize crop production. The 2020 sorghum production is estimated at 105 000 tonnes, a slightly below‑average level due to the reduced planted area in favour of more profitable crops.

Production of beans in 2020 is estimated at 132 500 tonnes, with a year‑on‑year increase of about 30 percent. The large output reflects above‑average yields, which were obtained partially due to the use of improved seeds that were distributed by the Ministry of Agriculture to about 223 000 farmers.

Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 forecast at high levels

Cereal import requirements in the 2020/21 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at about 1.1 million tonnes, slightly above the average level. The requirements are anticipated to decline year on year, reflecting the good output gathered in 2020 and large carryover stocks. Regarding wheat, the country entirely depends on imports to cover the domestic demand for human consumption and wheat imports in 2020/21 are forecast at about 340 000 tonnes.

Prices of white maize nearly 15 percent lower year on year in March

After remaining stable in the last four months, prices of white maize started to strengthen in March 2021. Prices were nearly 15 percent below their levels a year earlier, reflecting large market supplies from the above‑average 2020 harvests. Prices of red beans declined in March 2021 for the second consecutive month, following large imports between December 2020 and February 2021. However, prices were about 7 percent higher year on year, mainly reflecting the high level of prices in Nicaragua, the country’s major supplier. Prices of rice were stable in March and near their year‑earlier levels.

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