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Reference Date: 30-December-2015


  1. Cereal production in 2015 reduced by drought for second consecutive year

  2. Cereal imports forecast at record level for 2015/16 marketing year (July/June)

  3. Maize and bean prices continue to decline in December

Cereal production in 2015 reduced by drought for second consecutive year

Cereal production in 2015 has been preliminarily estimated at 836 000 tonnes, some 14 percent below last year’s already drought-reduced output. For a second consecutive year the main “de primera” agricultural season (May/September) was significantly affected by a prolonged dry weather weather, associated with the El Niño phenomenon. Production of maize , the main cereal grown in the country, is estimated some 18 percent below last year’s level and well below the five‑year average. To mitigate the production decreases, the Government has allowed increased maize imports at a zero tariff from outside the Central American region, mainly from the United States of America and Mexico. Similarly, rice production in 2015 is estimated to decrease by 4 percent from last year’s reduced level and some 13 percent less than the average.

Cereal imports forecast at record levels for 2015/16 marketing year (July/June)

Cereal imports in the 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 938 000 tonnes or 9 percent up from last year’s already high level. The increase is largely due to near-record maize imports, as a result of this year’s reduced output. Rice imports are expected to increase moderately, while wheat imports are set to remain stable at 260 000 tonnes.

Maize and bean prices continue to decline in December

Wholesale prices of white maize continued to decrease in December reflecting adequate availabilities from the recently completed main harvest and imports from Mexico, the subregion’s main producer, as well as imports from the United States of America. The onset of the second season maize harvest also added to the downward pressure. Prices, however, remained above their levels a year earlier, supported by the reduced first season outputs.

Bean prices in December continued to decline and were below their year-earlier levels. Ample availabilities from recent imports, and supplies from the 2015 first and second season harvests pushed red bean prices down to levels well below those of a year earlier.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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