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Country Briefs

  Tajikistan

Reference Date: 12-April-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Early forecast points to increase in 2017 cereal production

  2. Wheat imports in 2017/18 marketing year forecast at below-average level

  3. Prices of wheat flour declined in February

Favourable weather during spring contributed to increase forecast for 2017 cereal production

According to remote sensing data and analysis, favourable weather conditions prevailed during February-March. Above-average precipitation had a positive impact on vegetation conditions (see Agricultural Stress Index map). Consequently, aggregate cereal production in 2017 (including a forecast for spring coarse grains to be harvested by August) is preliminarily set at 1.2 million tonnes, about 7 percent above the previous year’s level. In particular, wheat output is expected to increase by 16 percent from the lower-than-average production obtained in 2016.

Planting of the maize crop has just started and, assuming an average planted area and yields, production is tentatively forecast at about 116 000 tonnes.

Below-average wheat imports in 2017/18 marketing year

The country depends heavily on imports to meet its cereal consumption needs and wheat represents more than 90 percent of the cereal imports.

Despite the favourable prospects for the current harvest, wheat purchases are expected to increase to replenish the low carryover stocks. Wheat imports in the 2017/18 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 1 million tonnes, 11 percent higher than the previous season’s level, but well below the average level of the previous five years.

Following a strengthening of the national grain processing capacity, the country continues to decrease the share of wheat flour in total imports in favour of wheat grain.

Weak local currency continues to support prices of imported food commodities

Prices of wheat flour continued to decline in February and were 7 percent below the record highs of January 2016, reflecting the adequate supply of wheat in the country.

The downward price pressure has, however, been limited by the weak national currency, which has underpinned prices of several imported goods. The local currency depreciated steadily against the US dollar from mid‑August 2015. In February 2016, the National Bank of Tajikistan intervened to support the currency, but this measure had limited effects.