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Prices of white maize increased seasonally in January

12/02/2020

In several countries of the subregion, prices of white maize increased seasonally in January, after declining in the previous months with the 2019 main and second season harvests. In Honduras and Nicaragua, prices rose sharply in January despite adequate supplies from the recently completed 2019/20 secondary “de postrera” harvests, as the reduced main season “de primera” outputs exacerbated seasonal pressure. In Guatemala, prices increased although imports contributed to bolster market supplies and to keep prices down year on year. In El Salvador, prices remained unchanged in January and well below their year-earlier values on account of good domestic availabilities from the 2019 output and imports. In Mexico, where the main season harvest is virtually completed, prices weakened for the third consecutive month, although the below-average output limited the decline in prices. In Haiti, prices of locally produced maize meal remained stable or declined in December with the minor “autumn” harvest and imports. An overall improvement in the country’s socio-political situation since November and subsequent increased economic activities contributed to ensure the regular supply of markets. Prices, however, remained well above their year-earlier values. With regard to beans, new supplies from the main harvests led to a drop in prices of red beans in December in most countries, after the sharp increases in the previous two months, when concerns over the impact of torrential rains had compounded seasonal pressure. In Honduras and El Salvador, prices continued to decline in January, while they remained relatively stable in Nicaragua. In Guatemala, prices of black beans, after declining in December with the new second season harvest, held steady in January. In Mexico, prices of black beans remained virtually unchanged in January as the downward pressure from the main harvest was limited by the below-average production. Prices, however, were lower on a yearly basis on account of overall adequate domestic availabilities. In the Caribbean, prices of black beans showed mixed trends in Haiti, declining in some markets with the new harvest and imports, but increasing in the southern markets, where below-average precipitation affected crops. In the Dominican Republic, prices of black beans were stable in January but higher than a year earlier, after the increases in late 2019.