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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 04 -May-2016


  1. Early forecast points to small increase in 2016 cereal production

  2. Cereal production in 2015 declined from record of previous year

  3. Import requirements for 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) are forecast below‑average level

  4. Food security concerns for vulnerable groups of population

Early forecast points to small increase in 2016 cereal production

Lower-than-average precipitation during the winter raised some concerns during the past months for this year’s winter wheat crop. However, recent remote sensing data shows that vegetation conditions in most of the country are normal or above average for this stage of the season, indicating that soil moisture reserves have been adequate for vegetative development of crops that have come out of dormancy earlier than normal. FAO’s early forecast is set at 7.5 million tonnes, slightly below last year’s level.

Cereal production in 2015 estimated to have declined from record of previous year

Latest estimates puts 2015 cereal production at 7.4 million tonnes, down 722 000 tonnes from the previous year’s level. Most of the decline was on account of the reduced wheat output, which is estimated at 7 million tonnes. The decrease in wheat production is mainly attributed to lower yields, following unfavourable weather conditions. By contrast, the outputs of the maize, rice and barley crops remained around the previous year’s level.

Import requirements for 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) forecast below‑average level

Despite relatively stable cereal production in recent years and a record production in 2014, the country still needs to import wheat (mainly wheat flour) for food consumption as only between 50‑55 percent of the locally‑produced crop is milling quality. Wheat imports in 2015/16 are forecast to remain at a high level of 2.2 million tonnes, accounting for almost 92 percent of total cereal imports, due to sustained strong domestic demand. Kazakhstan is the main supplier of high quality wheat and wheat flour.

Food security concerns for vulnerable groups of population

As of the beginning of October 2014, the price of a standard loaf of bread, baked from first grade flour, was increased by the Government to UZS 650 (USD 0.27), and since then remained unchanged. However, the devaluation of the national currency and inflation caused an increase in prices of many basic food products. Moreover, the number of labour migrants from Uzbekistan is estimated at around 2 million, which makes many households in Uzbekistan very sensitive to declines in the level of remittances. According to estimates from the Central Bank of Russia, by the end of the third quarter of 2015, the decrease in remittances amounted to 60 percent for Uzbekistan, compared to the same period in 2014. The devaluation of the Rouble, along with the stagnation of the Russian economy, resulted in less employment for migrants with the devaluation halving the earnings for those who were employed.