Reference Date: 14-September-2017
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Total cereal production in 2017 estimated close to last five-year average
Wheat imports in 2017/18 marketing year forecast to decline from previous year
Prices of wheat flour remained stable in August
Total cereal production in 2017 estimated close to average
Harvesting of the 2017 spring cereal crops, mainly wheat, maize and barley, is about to be completed. The 2017 wheat production is estimated at 850 000 tonnes, about 7 percent above last year’s below-average level. The expected increase is mainly due to adequate precipitations during the season. More that 40 percent of the total wheat production depends on rainfall, while the rest of the wheat area is irrigated.
Production of maize and barley are forecast at average levels. Planting of the winter wheat crop, to be harvested in June 2018, started at the end of August under favourable weather conditions.
Wheat imports forecast to decline in 2017/18 marketing year (July/June)
Wheat imports (wheat and wheat flour in grain equivalent) in the 2017/18 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at around 1 million tonnes, 11 percent below the previous season’s level, as production prospects of the current harvest are generally favourable. In total imports, the share of wheat flour continues to decline in favour of wheat grain as the country’s grain-processing capacity is strengthening. The share of wheat flour went down from 70 percent in 2006/07 to 10 percent in the 2016/17 marketing year.
Weak local currency continues to support prices of wheat flour
Prices of wheat flour remained virtually unchanged in August and were higher than a year earlier, mainly as a result of the weak local currency and high fuel costs, which were around 20 percent higher year-on-year. Prices of potatoes, another important staple in the country, were well above their levels in August last year following concerns over reduced availabilities of a high quality crop in the export markets.
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