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Reference Date: 17-June-2016


  1. Cereal production in 2016 anticipated to remain below average

  2. Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) forecast to increase

  3. Consumer prices under strong upward pressure

Cereal production in 2016 forecast to remain at below‑average level

Harvesting of the 2016 main season rice crop and the secondary season maize crop is nearly concluded. Although official forecasts are not available, the economic downturn, which has adversely impacted the agriculture sector, coupled with severe dry weather due to El Niño, are anticipated to keep the first season cereal output close to last year’s drought‑reduced level.

Planting of the 2016 main season maize crop and secondary season rice crop is ongoing and is expected to conclude in July under improved weather conditions according to the latest remote sensing data. However, constrained access to inputs are likely to keep sowings below average levels. Cereal production in 2016 is, therefore, anticipated to remain well below average.

Cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year (July/June) forecast to increase

Given the anticipated below average cereal output in 2016, a larger proportion of the national cereal requirement would need to be met with imports in the 2016/17 marketing year (July/June). The country has relied on cereal imports to cover more than half of its domestic utilization over the last five years. However, declining foreign exchange earnings from crude oil, the country’s main export, and a strong depreciation of the local currency, resulted in a significant decline in cereal imports in the 2015/16 marketing year. Cereal imports for 2016/17 are forecast at almost 4 million tonnes, 575 000 tonnes higher than the previous year, the bulk of which is accounted for by rice and wheat imports. This forecast, however, assumes that the country will be able to generate the needed foreign exchange to pay for these imports.

Consumer prices reportedly continue to increase

The Venezuelan Consumer Price Index reached a record level in December 2015, increasing by 180 percent from a year earlier. No official data has been published since then. However, the severe domestic supply shortages and lack of foreign exchange reserves continue to exert strong upward pressure on prices in 2016.

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

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