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Reference Date: 19-January-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Aggregate cereal production in 2014 declined from last year’s level

  2. Wheat imports in 2014/15 marketing year forecast to increase

  3. Prices of wheat flour rose to record or near-record levels in December

Aggregate cereal production in 2014 declined slightly from last year’s level

Harvesting of the 2014 winter and spring crops, mainly wheat, barley and maize was completed by the end of September. FAO’s latest estimate puts the country’s 2014 wheat production at 745 000 tonnes, 4 percent below last year’s near-average level. The decrease is the result of lower yields, following shortages of irrigation water during the growing season and a small contraction in area planted. Similarly, 2014 maize production is estimated to have decreased by 7 percent from last year’s good level, to be at 100 000 tonnes. The 2014 aggregate cereal output is set at 1.1 million tonnes, 3 percent down from last year’s good level but still around the five-year average for 2009-2013.

Planting of the 2015 winter cereal crops, including wheat and barley, started in mid-August and concluded in November. Weather conditions for planting and establishment of the crop have been generally favourable. Early estimates point to an area planted similar to last year.

Wheat imports in 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to increase

The country depends heavily on cereal imports, mainly wheat, which accounts for almost 98 percent of the total cereal import requirements. Wheat and barley are mainly imported from Kazakhstan, while rice is largely sourced from the Russian Federation. Wheat imports in the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 1.05 million tonnes, 4 percent above last year’s near-average level mainly reflecting the lower 2014 production. In 2013/14, wheat imports reached 1.01 million tonnes with increased wheat grain and reduced flour imports.

Prices of wheat flour rose to record or near-record levels in December

Prices of wheat flour increased during the last quarter of 2014, and in December reached record or near-record levels in nominal terms. As half of the country’s wheat consumption requirements are imported, the depreciation of the national currency between November and December, coupled with increased wheat export quotations from Kazakhstan, underpinned prices. The increase in prices was also supported by high domestic fuel and transport costs, despite lower international prices, as well as seasonal demand for winter stocks. Prices of potatoes, another important staple, have also increased markedly in the past few months, and in December they were more than one-third above their levels a year earlier.

According to official reports, approximately 35 percent of the population was estimated to live under the poverty line in 2013. The ratio of households’ budget allocated to food remained high and was estimated at around 56 percent in early 2014.









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 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2009, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1996
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