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Reference Date: 23-July-2014


  1. Early prospects for the 2014 cereal production poor

  2. Cereal imports strongly increased for the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June)

  3. Consumer prices continue to increase in May

Early prospects for the 2014 cereal production poor

Planting of the 2014 main season maize crop and the secondary rice crop is virtually completed. According to satellite-based information, the rain has been generally below-average from April to mid-July particularly over the northern areas of the country. The FAO Agricultural Stress Index (ASI) data confirms unfavourable vegetation conditions, in main producing states of Barinas, Guárico and Portuguesa. The insufficient precipitation is likely to have resulted in reductions plantings and yields of early-planted crops. Early forecasts point to a marked reduction of maize production from last year’s above-average levels, reflecting mainly lower plantings. Following a satisfactory 2014 main season rice crop, harvested until last May, the aggregate output is tentatively forecast at around last year’s level. Aggregate grain production is tentatively forecast at 3.4 million (paddy) tonnes. However, this forecast could be revised downward even further if low precipitations continue during the rest of the season.

The acute dry weather has also resulted in severe losses to the livestock sector due to poor pastures conditions and water shortages. In the main livestock producing departments of Zulia, Barinas and Guarico at least 300 000 heads of cattle are reported at risk due to the lack of adequate water and feed.

Cereal imports strongly increased for the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June)

Estimates for cereal imports for the recently-concluded 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) show a sharp rise from a year ago. The increase mainly reflects higher imports of maize due to high demand from the feed industry, coupled with a sharp decline of the 2012 production which reduced domestic supplies. Wheat is totally imported, and imports increased mainly reflecting population growth. Total Imports are estimated at almost 4.7 million tonnes or 23 percent up from the 2012/13 marketing year.

Consumer prices continue to increase in May

The Venezuelan consumer price index continued to rise for a third month in May; it increased 5.7 percent from April and is almost 61 percent higher than in May 2013. The increase in the consumer price index is being sustained by high demand of various food items. Of the basket of goods that compose the consumer price index, food items suffered the second highest increase in May from its level from a year earlier, reaching a value of 834.9, up 75 percent from May 2013.

Relevant links:
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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