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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 01-October-2018


  1. Cereal production in 2018 estimated close to five-year average

  2. Grain exports in 2018/19 marketing year forecast above-average

  3. Export and domestic prices of wheat increased on yearly basis

Cereal production in 2018 estimated close to five-year average

Harvesting of the 2018 winter crops is about to be finalized, while harvest of spring crops will continue until mid-November. Aggregate cereal production is estimated at a near-average level of 63 million tonnes in 2018, slightly above the low level of the previous year. The increase is mainly due to a bumper maize output, which is forecast at 29 million tonnes, about 18 percent above the previous year’s level and the highest production obtained since 2013, following abundant rainfall in July. By contrast, July rains had a negative effect on yields and quality of the wheat crop, output of which is set at 24.8 million tonnes, about 5 percent below the level of last year but still close to the five-year average.

Grain exports in 2018/19 forecast above-average

Total cereal exports in the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) are expected to increase from the average level of the previous year on expectations of higher shipments of maize. Maize exports are forecast to increase by 23 percent to 21.7 million tonnes, following a bumper domestic output, strong import demand and competitive prices on the international markets. Despite the decline in domestic production, barley exports are also expected to increase by 5 percent to 4.5 million tonnes, due to a strong import demand. By contrast, wheat shipments (wheat and wheat flour in grain equivalent) are set to decline to 16 million tonnes, about 10 percent below the high level of 2017, but still close to the average of recent years.

Export and domestic prices of wheat increased on yearly basis

Export prices of milling wheat rose sharply over the June-August period, supported by the expected reduction of the 2018 output and the lower quality of grain as well as strong export demand. Export prices showed a small decline in September, but were still about 17 percent higher than in the corresponding month last year. Domestic prices of wheat increased by about 30 percent year-on-year as of September 2018, driven by the strong pace of wheat exports in July-August 2018, reduced availability of milling quality wheat and weakening of national currency.

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