GIEWS COUNTRY UPDATES

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AFRICA

ASIA

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE AND OCEANIA

ASIA

Bangladesh (2007-06-01)

 
Harvesting of the 2007 wheat crop, a small contributor to the country’s total food supply, has been completed. A smaller wheat crop than last year is estimated due to unseasonably high temperatures during the winter development period. The country wheat imports in 2007/08 are expected to increase to about 2.8 million tonnes, up from the previous year’s 2.3 million tonnes. Harvesting of the 2007 Boro (spring) rice, accounting for more than 50 percent of total annual rice production, was just completed and the production is estimated at 15.7 million tonnes, similar to the previous year.
 

China (2007-06-01)

 
In China (Mainland), harvesting of the 2007 early rice crop will start soon and production is expected to increase by 1.2 million tonnes on last year to reach 33.1 million tones. This reflects a larger area sown and favourable weather. The 2007 aggregate paddy production is tentatively forecast at 183 million tonnes. Harvesting of the 2007 winter wheat crop has commenced and the 2007 aggregate wheat output is tentatively forecast at 101 million tones (including the small spring crop), 2.5 percent below last year’s record but still 8 percent above the average of the previous five years. The sowing of 2007 coarse grain crops, mainly maize, is complete in the major producing regions and a large are planted is estimated due to land diversion from soybeans because of higher profitability of maize.
 
Based on the latest forecast, China in 2007/08 is expected to be almost self-sufficient in cereals. China, however, is expected to import 33 million tonnes of soybeans, up 3 million tonnes from the previous year, to meet growing domestic demand. Soybeans are defined as grains in China. 
 

Dem People's Rep of Korea (2007-05-11)

 

 

The aggregate 2006 cereal output was estimated at some 4 million tonnes (including rice in milled terms), some 2.6 percent below the good crop of 2005, but still 14 percent above the average of the past five years (see figure). With the steady recovery in agricultural production over the past few years, the cereal import requirement has been almost halved since the start of the decade. Given the relatively high level of production again in 2006, the cereal deficit for the 2006/07 marketing year (November/October) is estimated to remain just under 1 million tonnes, the second lowest in the past seven years. If the estimated level of imports materializes, the per caput cereal consumption in the country would remain at some 160 kg, and close to the status quo. For the period November 2006 to April 2007, the Central Government commercially imported 40 000 tonnes of grains and received another 900 tonnes as food aid. The Republic of Korea has also pledged 400 000 tonnes of rice under an agreement reached at the 13th meeting of the North-South Committee for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation, which was held from 18-22 April. However, even if these commitments are fulfilled, there would remain a deficit of 510 000 tonnes in the current marketing year, which needs to be covered by additional commercial imports and/or food aid.
 
Prospects are favourable for the current 2006/07 secondary (winter/spring) season cereal crops, mostly wheat and barley, to be harvested from June. This crop accounts for 5 percent of annual cereal production. However, potatoes are also grown in this season and their importance as a food has increased in recent years following chronic food and feed supply problems. The total area planted for the current crops is estimated to be similar to last year’s, and weather during the season has been favourable with some well distributed rainfall and close to normal temperatures. At this stage, the secondary cereal crop output is expected to be similar to last year’s 220 000 tonnes, assuming the weather remains clement until the harvest. Potato production is put at 230 000 tonnes.

Planting of the 2007 main maize and rice crops will start in mid-May/early-June, right after the harvest of the secondary crops. Output, as usual, will depend critically on the weather during the main rainy season and the availability of fertilizer and other essential inputs, which have remained in short supply in past seasons. As in the past few years, the Republic of Korea has donated 300 000 tonnes of fertilizer aid for the coming main season.

 

India (2007-06-01)

 

Harvesting of the 2007 wheat crop is underway and planting of the coarse grains and Kharif rice for harvest in September/November has begun. The 2007 wheat output forecast has been revised up to 73.5 million tonnes, 6 percent up from last year, reflecting area expansion and favourable weather during most of the growing season. As a result, wheat imports in 2007/08 are forecast to decline sharply from the previous year’s high level of 6.5 million tonnes to some 3 million tonnes.

 
According to India Meteorological Department, the southwest monsoon rainfall for 2007 has timely started in the country’s southern coast. The June-September monsoon is vital to the cereal production in the country.
 

 

 

Indonesia (2007-06-01)

 

Output of the 2007 main season rice crop, which is already well advanced, is forecast to fall by about 2 percent, following a 3 percent reduction in plantings caused by the late arrival of the north-east monsoon rainfall. The aggregate 2007 rice output is tentatively forecast at 53 million tonnes, down from last year 54.4 million tonnes and the 2007/08 rice import is expected at the same high level of the previous year’s of some 2 million tonnes.

Harvesting of maize is complete and the 2007 output is estimated at an above-average level of 12.4 million tones. As a result, the import requirement in 2007/08 (April/March) is anticipated to decline sharply to some 700 000 tonnes. Wheat is not produced in Indonesia and its import in 2007/08 is forecast at some 4.8 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous year.
 
Localized food insecurity persists in the Yogyakarta regency of Sleman following the May 27, 2006 earthquake which resulted in severe damage to housing and infrastructure.
 
 

Japan (2007-06-01)

 

Planting of the 2007 main rice crop for harvesting in October-November is underway. Production is early forecast at some 7.5 million, a slight decline from last year’s level due to an anticipated reduction in plantings following changes in Government’s rice policy including the gradual elimination of controls on production by 2008. The import of wheat and coarse grain in 2007/08 (July/June) is forecast to remain steady at 5.5 million tonnes for wheat and 19.7 million tonnes for coarse grains.

 

Malaysia (2007-06-01)

 
Planting of the 2007 irrigated secondary paddy crop, which normally accounts for more than 40 percent of total production, has been completed. Harvesting of the main paddy crop, planted in August to November last year, finished in April. In aggregate, the 2007 paddy output is provisionally forecast at 2.2 million tonnes. Rice imports in 2007/08 (July/June) are expected at some 800 000 tonnes, representing some 35 percent of domestic consumption. Wheat is not produced in Malaysia and maize production is insignificant. The 2007/08 import requirement is forecast at some 1.45 million tonnes for wheat and 2.7 million tonnes for maize.
 

Mongolia (2007-06-15)

 

Planting of the 2007 wheat crop, virtually the only cereal produced in the country, has been completed under normal weather conditions. The outcome of this year harvest will depend on rains and temperatures during summer months. The 2006 wheat output was estimated by an FAO Mission at 145 000 tonnes, a marked recovery from the drought reduced crop of the previous year. At this level, production is expected to cover some 60 percent of the domestic wheat utilization. Import requirement in 2006/07 (September/August) are forecast at 230 000 tonnes, to be mostly supplied from neighbouring Russia.

 
Livestock production is the dominant agricultural activity and one of country’s key economic sector. Pastures and animals are reported in good conditions following favourable weather conditions during winter months.
 
A UN Joint Food Security Assessment Mission, comprising FAO, UNICEF and UNDP, visited the country last October. The Mission found that the food security situation was overall satisfactory. Availability of main food staples (wheat, meat, milk and vegetables) was adequate reflecting the recovery of the agricultural sector in the past three years and increased food imports. Trade liberalization has contributed to improve availability and stability of food supplies. Markets throughout the country were well-stocked with national and imported food products. Prices of most basic foods, except meat, have remained stable or have declined in real terms since 2000. The terms of trade between meat/flour and meat/potatoes have improved benefiting access to food by herder populations. However, the bright panorama at national level hides the vulnerability and food insecurity of large numbers of households in the capital Ulaanbaatar and urban centres, where about 60 percent of the country’s population is concentrated.
 
 

Pakistan (2007-06-01)

 

Harvesting of the 2007 winter wheat is complete in the main wheat-growing provinces. A record production of some 23 million tones is anticipated, as a result of increased use of fertilizers, following Government’s subsidies, and favourable weather. Given the increase in domestic wheat supplies expected, the country is expected to export some 1.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2007/08.

 
The planting of the paddy crop just started and 2007 paddy production is tentatively forecast at some 8.4 million tonnes. The 2007 coarse grains output, mostly maize, is forecast at some 3.5 million tonnes. Pakistan is one of world major rice exporters and the 2007 export is forecast at some 3 million tonnes.
 

Republic of Korea (2007-06-01)

 

Planting of the 2007 paddy, the main cereal crop, is underway. In 2006, production of rice in milled terms was estimated at some 4.7 million tonnes, slightly lower than in the previous year.


The country produces only about one third of its annual cereal consumption requirement. Cereal imports in the 2006/07 marketing year (October/September) are estimated at 13.2 million tonnes, with 9.2 million tonnes of maize and 3.6 million tonnes of wheat.
 

Thailand (2007-06-01)

 

Planting of the 2007 main season crops and harvesting of the secondary season paddy crop are underway. The 2007 aggregate rice production is expected at some 30 million tonnes, similar to the good harvests of the previous two years. The 2007 maize crop, now being sown, is early forecast at some 4 million tonnes, close to the average.

 
Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, is expected to increase its rice exports to some 8.5 to 8.8 million tonnes in 2007, up from 7.4 million tonnes in 2006, reflecting this year’s good crop and reduced production in other major rice exporting countries in the region.  
 

NEAR EAST

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Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2007-06-01)

 
Wheat and barley are the main crops cultivated during the winter period in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Harvesting of the 2007 barley crop was completed in March, while harvesting of wheat has just commenced. Good crops are expected for the second consecutive year reflecting favorable weather conditions and the Government’s support measures including guaranteed procurement prices and provision of agriculture inputs. The country has virtually achieved self-sufficient in wheat in the recent years.
 
 

Iraq (2007-05-15)

 
Satellite based imagery indicate that agro-meteorological conditions during November-February were unfavourable for winter crops due to moisture deficit. Crop status at the end of February was reported to be close to the previous year.
 
The food security situation in the country remains extremely fragile. Recent events indicate a rise in humanitarian needs due to increased displacements. UN and other international agencies are monitoring the evolution of the situation and providing assistance as needed.
 
2006 total cereal production, harvested last June, has been tentatively estimated at 2.7 million tonnes, similar to the previous year’s level.
 
 

Israel (2007-05-15)

 
The output of the wheat crop, now being harvested, is expected to be an above average crop, due to generally favourable growing conditions. Production of wheat in 2006 is estimated at 132 000 tonnes, some 26 percent below the previous year’s crop.
 
Imports of wheat in 2006/07 (October/September) are forecast at some 1.6 million tonnes, slightly above the previous year.

 

 

Jordan (2007-05-15)

 

 

Good rains in February with average temperature levels improved prospects for the 2007 winter grains, being harvested. This signified a welcome relief from the adverse weather conditions that affected crop production in 2006.
 
Aggregate production of wheat and barley in 2006 is estimated at 42 000 tonnes, some 36 percent down on previous year’s harvest. Production of lentils, another important food crop, increased by 74 percent to 1 390 tonnes, while chickpeas production in 2006, estimated at 2 380 tonnes, was nearly 40 percent lower than the previous year.
 
Imports of wheat in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at more than 850 000 tonnes, about 9 percent above the previous year. Coarse grain imports are forecast at about 1 million tonnes, slightly higher than in 2005/06.
 
 

Lebanon (2007-05-15)

 

 

Prospects for the 2007 winter harvest in June/July remain favourable. Production of wheat and barley in 2006, estimated at 139 000 tonnes, remained similar to the previous year. However, the impact of the 2006 conflict between Israel and political factions in Lebanon is still heavily felt.

Domestic cereal output usually covers only about 10 percent of consumption requirements, and the country depends heavily on imports for such essential food items as wheat, rice, sugar and milk powder. Imports of cereals -- mainly wheat -- in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at some 800 000 tonnes.

The conflict has disrupted food, fuel and medical supplies and large parts of the country’s infrastructure lay in ruins. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced within and outside the country. The cessation of hostilities has eased some of the problems but humanitarian assistance is still needed.

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Le blé et l’orge de 2007, sur le point d’être récoltés, ont bénéficié de bonnes conditions météorologiques. La production de blé et d’orge de 2006, estimée à 139 000 tonnes, est restée inchangée par rapport à l’année précédente. Toutefois, l’impact véritable du conflit de 2006 entre Israël et les factions politiques au Liban doit encore être mesuré.

La production intérieure de céréales ne couvre habituellement que 10 pour cent environ des besoins de la consommation, et le pays est lourdement tributaire des importations pour des denrées essentielles telles que le blé, le riz, le sucre et le lait en poudre. Les importations de céréales - principalement blé - en 2006/2007 (juillet/juin) devraient se monter à quelque 800 000 tonnes.

Les troubles ont eu des incidences négatives sur les approvisionnements en vivres, en carburant et en médicaments et des pans entiers de l’infrastructure du pays sont en ruine. Des centaines de milliers de personnes ont été déplacées, tant à l’intérieur du pays qu’en dehors. La cessation des hostilités a atténué quelque peu les difficultés mais une aide humanitaire reste nécessaire.

 

Saudi Arabia (2007-05-15)

 
The output of the wheat crop, now being harvested, is expected to be below average due to generally unfavourable climatic conditions. Aerial and ground control operations against desert locusts continue on the Red Sea coast against late hopper bands and residual groups of mature adults, and in the interior against mature swarms that are laying eggs. Teams treated nearly 13 000 ha on 1 to10 May 2007.
 
Production of wheat in 2006 is estimated at about 2.7 million tonnes, about 12 percent above the previous year. The output of barley is estimated at about 138 000 tonnes.
 
Imports of cereals in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at about 8.5 million tonnes, including about 5.8 million tonnes of barley.
 
 

Syrian Arab Republic (2007-05-15)

 
The harvesting of the 2007 wheat and barley crops has just started and will continue through July. Remote sensing indicators show that the winter crop status at the end of April 2007 was close to the good 2006 season.
 
2006 wheat production, harvested last summer, is estimated at 5.2 million tonnes. At this level, the production is about 11 percent above the previous year’s crop. Barley production, which is almost entirely rainfed, is estimated at 700 000 tonnes, slightly below last year’s crop.
 
The bulk of the domestically produced wheat is durum wheat and imports of some 180 000 tonnes of wheat flour are forecast during the marketing year 2006/07 (July/June). Imports of rice in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at 250 000 tonnes, similar to the previous year.
 
 

Turkey (2007-05-15)

 
Prospects for the 2007 winter crops, to be harvested from June, are generally unfavourable due to drier than normal weather conditions.
 
Wheat production in 2006 was estimated at 20.5 million tonnes, almost similar to the previous year. Production of barley, estimated at 8.8 million tonnes, was 0.4 million tonnes lower than the 2005 harvest. Maize output, estimated at about 3.2 million tonnes, is some 13 percent lower than in 2005. Record high production of maize in 2005, estimated at 3.7 million tonnes, resulted in significant reduction of area planted for maize in 2006 which in turn resulted in lower production. The Turkish Grain Board (TMO) announced recently a tender to buy maize and bought a total of 55 000 tonnes. The delivery period of the tender will be in the second half of 2007.
 
Wheat imports in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at 0.6 million tonnes compared to 0.2 million tonnes estimated for the previous year. Maize imports are also forecast to increase. The Turkish Grain Board (TMO) announced a tender in February 2007 to purchase wheat and maize. The maximum quantities to be bought are 200 000 tonnes of milling wheat and 300 000 tonnes of maize.
 

Yemen (2007-05-15)

 
Planting of the main sorghum and millet crops, to be harvested towards the end of the year, is underway. Weather conditions are reported to be generally normal.
 
Total cereal production in 2006, estimated at 727 000 tonnes, is 47 percent above 2005. Wheat production increased by 32 percent to about 149 000 tonnes while sorghum production increased by more than 52 percent to 402 000 tonnes. Millet production, estimated at about 82 300 tonnes is 24 percent higher than in 2005.
 
Hatching and hopper band formations of desert locusts were reported to be underway in the interior of the country near Al-Abr and Thamud. Small adult groups and perhaps a few swarms could form in breeding areas on the southern coast near Sayut and move into the Hadhramaut interior. Control operations have not been implemented yet because of beekeepers in the area
 
Imports of cereals in 2007 - mainly wheat - are forecast at about 2.8 million tonnes, an increase of some 6 percent compared with 2006.
 
 
 

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