Reference Date: 21-July-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Early forecast points to small decline in 2016 cereal production
Wheat imports in 2015/16 marketing year forecast similar to previous year’s level
Weak local currency supports prices of imported goods
Favourable weather during spring contributed to record crop in 2016
FAO’s latest forecast for aggregate cereal production indicates a record crop this year. Despite lower‑than‑average precipitation and unusually warm weather during the winter, abundant rainfall during the spring restored soil moisture reserves and helped crop development. Favourable weather conditions resulted in high yields, which together with some expansion of plantings, led to a 19 percent year‑on‑year increase in production, now forecast at 1.35 million tonnes. Most of the growth is expected on account of increased wheat and maize crops. Wheat production is estimated at 1 million tonnes, 18 percent up from 2015 and sufficient to cover about 50 percent of total domestic needs. Maize production is forecast to increase by 50 percent to 150 000 tonnes, largely due to a larger planted area.
Wheat imports to fall in 2016/17 marketing year
Tajikistan depends heavily on imports to meet its cereal consumption needs and more than 90 percent of imports are wheat. Per capita consumption in the country is around 183 kg/year, one of the highest in the region. Wheat imports in the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 900 000 tonnes, 15 percent below the previous year’s level due to bumper domestic production in 2016. Following a strengthening of the national grain processing capacity, the country continues to decrease the share of wheat flour and increase the share of wheat grain in total imports.
Weak local currency continues to support prices of imported foods
Prices of wheat flour came down in the first half of the year from the record highs of January, reflecting adequate and low‑priced wheat imports, despite some recent increases in export prices from Kazakhstan (the country’s main supplier). Downward price pressure has, however, been limited by the weak national currency, which has underpinned prices of several imported goods, including wheat flour, vegetable oil and sugar. The Somoni depreciated steadily against the US dollar from mid‑August 2015 through to late January this year. Since February, the currency has remained relatively stable against the US dollar, after the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) intervened to support the currency.