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Country Briefs

  Uzbekistan

Reference Date: 20-February-2017

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Winter cereals for harvest in 2017 are in good conditions

  2. Cereal production in 2016 declined from previous year

  3. Import requirements for 2016/17 are forecast below last year’s level

  4. Government continues to regulate prices of basic foods

Winter cereals for harvest in 2017 are in good conditions

Sowing of the winter cereals for the harvest in 2017 has been completed at the end of November under satisfactory conditions. Recent remote sensing data shows that levels of precipitations in October‑December were close to average in most crop areas. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows that vegetation conditions were close to the average at the end of January.

Cereal production in 2016 declined from previous year

Latest estimates put the 2016 cereal production at 7.9 million tonnes, slightly down from the previous year’s level. The decline reflects the reduction in the wheat output, which was estimated at 6.7 million tonnes in 2016, and it is mainly due to the lower yields, following unfavourable weather conditions during the crop season. By contrast, the outputs of the maize, rice and barley crops remained around the previous year’s level.

Import requirements for 2016/17 are forecast below previous year level

The country continues to import around 30 percent of cereals (mainly wheat and wheat flour) for food consumption. Wheat imports in the 2016/17marketing year (July/June) are forecast at level of 2.5 million tonnes, slightly below last year, due to the good domestic harvest and abundant level of carry-overs. Kazakhstan continues to be the main supplier of a high quality wheat and wheat flour.

Government continues to fix prices of basic foods

Strong depreciation of the national currency and decline of the level of remittances raise concerns about the local food security. The national currency lost around 20 percent of its value in 2016. Moreover, from the beginning of 2017, the country is planning to introduce free circulation of foreign currencies, which may lead to further devaluation of the Uzbekistan Sum.

To provide support to the low-income families, the Government continues to regulate the prices of several basic foods (including wheat flour and bread). As a result of such policy, wheat flour prices remained unchanged in January and were around their values of a year earlier.