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Country Briefs

  Uruguay

Reference Date: 14-December-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2016 estimated to decline from last year’s level

  2. Cereal exports forecast to increase in 2017 marketing year

  3. Wheat flour prices declined in November, rice prices increased seasonally

Cereal production in 2016 estimated to decline from last year’s level

Cereal production in 2016 is estimated at about 3.3 million tonnes, sharply below last year’s level and, for a second consecutive year, below the five‑year average. The below‑average harvests mainly reflect reduced maize and wheat plantings in the past two years as a result of low market prices and high carryover stocks. Rice production in 2016 is estimated at 1.3 million tonnes (paddy), 7 percent down from last year. The decline mainly reflects excessive rainfall at the beginning of the season, which adversely impacted the crop. Maize production in 2016 has been preliminarily estimated at 487 000 tonnes, virtually unchanged from last year’s level but below the five‑year average. The harvest of the 2016 wheat crop is well advanced and the production forecast has been revised downward as plantings where lower than originally anticipated. Preliminary estimates point to a decline in output of 25 percent to 890 000 tonnes reflecting a contraction of 30 percent in sowings due to the prevailing low market prices and high stock levels.

Planting of the 2017 summer maize crop is well advanced. Official data on sowing levels are not yet available. However, it is anticipated that plantings will decline reflecting the prevailing low market prices and ample carryovers from the 2016 crop.

Cereal exports forecast to increase in 2017 marketing year

Total cereal exports in the 2017 marketing year (January/December) are preliminarily forecast at 1.7 million tonnes, a sharp increase from last year’s low level, but still below the five‑year average. The increase in exports mainly reflects the anticipated higher rice sales during the marketing year. By contrast, wheat and maize exports are anticipated to decline reflecting this year’s reduced outputs and low prices.

Wheat flour prices declined in November, rice prices increased seasonally

Domestic prices of wheat flour declined in November as new product from the recent harvest and ample availabilities from last year have kept prices well below their year‑earlier levels.

Rice prices in November increased moderately and were above last year’s level as high export demand and the tight supply situation pressured prices.