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Prices of yellow maize pressured downwards by the ongoing harvests

12/07/2018

In most countries of the subregion, prices of yellow maize were relatively stable in June with improved supplies from the ongoing harvests halting the increasing trend of the past months. In Argentina, domestic prices of yellow maize remained virtually unchanged in June: although the new harvest is well underway, an expected reduced output and a weak currency, discouraging farmers’ selling, limited the downward pressure on prices and kept them around 90 percent higher than a year earlier. Similarly, in Brazil, domestic prices of yellow maize remained relatively stable in June, as an expected reduced output limited downward pressure from improved domestic supplies of the ongoing second season harvest. However, prices were still 60 percent higher than a year earlier, also compounded by a weakening currency. In Bolivia (Plurinational State of), prices of yellow maize remained virtually unchanged but were well below their levels in June last year, as a result of good supplies from the recently-completed main season harvest. In Colombia, prices of yellow maize were relatively stable in June and only slightly above their year-earlier levels. In Ecuador, prices of yellow maize weakened in June with the progress of the 2018 harvest and were below their year-earlier levels, reflecting good domestic availabilities, also from the good 2017 output. In Chile, prices of yellow maize increased slightly despite the recent harvest and were higher than a year earlier, on account of a reduced output this year and higher import costs of maize as a result of higher international prices and a weaker local currency. Similarly, in Peru, recent trends in the international market and strong domestic demand underpinned prices of yellow maize. With respect to wheat, prices continued to increase in June and were higher than a year earlier in Argentina, the subregion’s main producer and exporter, and in Brazil, underpinned by the weaker local currencies and tighter domestic supplies. In Chile, prices of wheat grain increased slightly in June and were 18 percent higher year-on-year, supported by costlier imports. In Bolivia (Plurinational State of), prices of imported wheat flour remained higher than their year-earlier levels due to higher prices in Argentina, the country’s main supplier. In Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, prices of wheat flour remained unchanged in June and around their levels a year earlier, with imports in the past months keeping markets adequately supplied. In Brazil, the subregion’s largest producer of rice, prices of paddy strengthened in June in the key producing area of Rio Grande do Sul, due to a year-on-year reduction in the 2018 harvest and exports. In Ecuador and Peru, prices of rice declined slightly in June and were below their year-earlier levels, reflecting the ongoing harvests. Similarly, in Colombia, ample domestic availabilities kept prices of rice around 10 percent lower than a year earlier.