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Country Briefs

  Uruguay

Reference Date: 13-May-2021

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2021 forecast at record high

  2. Cereal exports in 2021/22 marketing year anticipated at high levels

  3. Cereal prices in April 2021 above year‑earlier levels

Cereal production in 2021 forecast at record high

Harvesting of the 2021 paddy crop is ongoing and production is officially anticipated at a near‑average level of 1.3 million tonnes. The planted area remained below the previous five‑year average, but it was slightly higher than the 2020 low level as a response to the high prices at planting time. Crop yields are expected at near‑record levels due to improved weather conditions during the first quarter of 2021.

The harvest of the 2021 maize crop is nearing completion and the output is expected at a well above‑average level of 880 000 tonnes reflecting record plantings. Yields of the early planted crops are estimated at below‑average level due to dry weather conditions between November and December 2020. Increased rainfall amounts since mid‑January favoured late planted crops at flowering and grain filling stages, improving crop yields.

Planting of the 2021 wheat crop has recently started under adequate soil moisture conditions in the key producing western region. Although there is no official forecast, high domestic prices are likely to prompt farmers to expand sowings. The weather forecasts indicate a high probability of average precipitation amounts in the June‑August period, providing conducive conditions for crop germination and flowering.

Cereal exports in 2021/22 marketing year anticipated at high levels

Total cereal exports in the 2021/22 marketing year (April/March) are forecast at an above‑average level of 1.5 million tonnes. Exports of rice, the country’s major exportable crop, are forecast at average levels. If the expected large planted area of wheat results in good 2021 harvests, exports of wheat are likely to remain at high levels for the second consecutive year.

Cereal prices in April 2021 above year‑earlier levels

After having been generally stable since August 2020, prices of rice declined seasonally in April. Prices were more than 10 percent above their year‑earlier levels, as high export prices contributed to an increase in price levels in the domestic market. Prices of yellow maize started to decline since March, as the 2021 harvest increased market supplies. They were about 20 percent higher year on year, following trends in the international market, which have exerted the significant upward pressure on prices between November 2020 and February 2021. Similarly, prices of wheat grain were also up from a year earlier.

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