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Country Briefs

  Uruguay

Reference Date: 27-April-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Cereal production in 2017 forecast to decline to nine-year low

  2. Cereal exports for 2017 marketing year forecast slightly above last year’s level

  3. Wheat flour and rice prices relatively unchanged in March

Cereal production in 2017 forecast to decline to nine‑year low

Cereal production in 2017 is forecast to decline some 4 percent and reach less than 3 million tonnes, its lowest level since 2007. The decline in cereal output mainly reflects lower plantings for maize and sorghum, which declined some 17 percent on average. This is mainly the result of higher input costs and lower producer prices due to the appreciation of the local currency, which has reduced the price competitiveness of Uruguayan crops, and ample availabilities from bumper 2016 crops in South America.

Planting of the 2017 wheat crop will start from May and sowings are anticipated to remain at last year’s low level reflecting the prevailing low prices due to ample availabilities both at the national and regional levels. By contrast, the 2017 rice crop, whose harvest is well advanced, is anticipated to increase some 5 percent, mostly as a result of better yields as crop conditions have been favourable during the season.

Cereal exports for 2017 marketing year forecast slightly above last year’s level

Total cereal exports in the 2017 marketing year (April/March) are preliminarily forecast at 1.7 million tonnes, with a marginal increase from its’ previous year’s level, but still below the last 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 or remain unchanged as a result of ample availabilities of better-priced products in sub‑regional markets.

Wheat flour and rice prices relatively unchanged in March

Domestic prices of wheat flour where unchanged in March as ample availabilities from the 2016 crop have kept prices some 10 percent below their year‑earlier levels. Rice prices in March were also unchanged from their levels a month and a year earlier in anticipation of the entry into the market of the 2107 crop.