GIEWS COUNTRY UPDATES

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AFRICA

ASIA

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE AND OCEANIA

ASIA

BANGLADESH (19 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 minor Aus paddy crop was completed in August and the output is close to normal. Prospects for the main Aman crop, current in the ground and due for harvest in November-December, are favourable. The Boro crop, harvested in May, was very good and benefited from favourable weather, and the aggregate paddy output in 2006 is tentatively forecast at a record 41 million tonnes. Output of the 2006 wheat, harvested in March-April, is estimated at some 1 million tonnes. Total cereal imports in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at some 3 million tonnes, around the previous year’s level.

CAMBODIA (20 September)

There are two seasons of paddy production in the country: wet season and dry season, with the wet season production accounting for some 80 percent of the total. Planting/transplanting of the wet season rice, due for harvest from November, has been completed. The aggregate 2006 paddy production is tentatively forecast above last year’s record level, reflecting higher plantings and good weather. With the increase in production, the country is expected to have enough rice for domestic consumption and some exportable surplus in 2007.

Heavy rains and strong winds in August 2006 have reportedly affected nine provinces in Cambodia, resulting in more than 33 000 people evacuated. Over 500 families are in need of urgent assistance. The rains have had a mixed impact on paddy crop in some areas, eased drought for others, but in others destroyed crops. More than 7 000 hectares of paddy crop were damaged by floods in many provinces located in the northern, western, and west-southern of the country.

CHINA (19 September)

The worst drought, in the last fifty years, has reportedly affected more than 3 million hectares of crops in Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality. The economic losses are officially estimated at more than 10 billion yuan (1.25 billion US dollars) in Sichuan and over 6 billion yuan (0.75 billion US dollars) in Chongquing. At the same time, China also was hard-hit by a series of devastating typhoons and tropical storms, killing over 600 people and causing over 3 million people displaced.

The outcome of the 2006 early rice crop, harvested in July was estimated at 32 million tonnes. The main rice crop is presently being harvested, while harvesting of the late crop is due in October-November. The forecast for the 2006 aggregate paddy production (the three crops) has been revised downward to 180 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 185 million tonnes to reflect the impact of the serious drought in Sichuan, Chongqing as well as in Heilongjiang Provinces. However, at this level, production is still close to the good crop of last year.

Harvesting of maize in southern areas was completed in August, while is still ongoing in northern parts. The latest estimates point to a record output of 142 million tonnes as a result of increased area planted and higher yields.

In 2006/07, China’s cereal imports are expected to remain at last year’s relatively low level of some 4 million tonnes, but cereal exports are forecast to be reduced from some 7.5 million tonnes to 5.5 million tonnes.

INDIA (19 September)

The 2006 southwest monsoon has been on the long-term average, but with highly skewed distribution. Harvesting of the 2006 main Kharif rice, coarse grains, oilseeds and groundnuts crops has begun. The Kharif rice production this year is forecast at 76 million tonnes, some 2.7 per cent higher than last year. The aggregate output of the 2006 rice crop is forecast at some 93.3 million tonnes, some 2 million tonnes above the good level of the previous year. The 2006 wheat output is officially estimated at 69.48 million tonnes, 1.2 percent above the reduced crop of 2005 year, and about average. In order to replenish stocks, wheat imports in 2006/07 (April/March) are expected to reach 6 million tonnes, resulting in a change in the country trade position, from a large net exporter of wheat to a large net importer (behind Egypt, Brazil, and the European Union.

INDONESIA (20 September)

Foodcrops presently in the ground are secondary/dry season paddy and maize, which are due for harvest from late October. The 2006 aggregate paddy production is officially forecast at about 54.8 million tonnes, the third consecutive good crop, reflecting the ample irrigation water supplies. The 2006 maize crop is forecast at some 12.5 million tonnes, the same level as last year. The overall food supply situation in Indonesia is satisfactory. Imports of wheat, which is not produced in the country, are forecast to remain stable at around 4.8 million tonnes in 2006/07 (April/March). Maize imports are expected at 500 000 tonnes.

While the national cereal supply position is satisfactory, a large number of vulnerable population, especially those affected by natural disasters (earthquakes and tsunami) in the past years continue to be in need of need international food assistance. This year, in May, an earthquake struck Yogyakarta, leaving some 6 000 people dead and some 300 000 homes destroyed. In July, an earthquake and tsunami on the island of Java, caused widespread damage of houses and a large number of people displaced.

JAPAN (19 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 main rice crop is about to start. The paddy output is forecast at 10.41 million tonnes. The rice import in 2007 is expected at some 800 000 tonnes. As part of the liberalization of its rice policy, the Government has announced the elimination of controls on production starting from 2008.

The import of wheat and coarse grain in 2006/07 (July/June) is forecast to remain steady at 5.4 million tonnes and 19.7 million tonnes respectively.

KOREA, DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF (19 September)

South Korea provided 100 000 tonnes of rice in a one-time aid package, which also included building materials and equipment.

Harvesting of the 2006 main season crops of rice, maize, and potatoes is underway. A lower output than last year is expected. Total cereal import requirement in 2006/07 (Nov/Oct), including commercial import and food aid, is tentatively forecast at some 1 million tonnes.

Severe floods that struck South Pyongan, North Hwanghae, Kangwon and South Hamgyong provinces in mid-July totally or partially destroyed 23 400 houses and left some 19 000 families homeless. The floods caused extensive damage to crops and infrastructure in some districts. Maize, paddy and soybeans were among the main summer crops being cultivated. There was also considerable loss from family kitchen garden plots (tomatoes, cabbages, beans, cucumbers etc, some fruits, as well as small livestock such as pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits etc) in the affected areas.

KOREA, REPUBLIC OF (19 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 paddy crop will start at the end of this month and continue into November, with the output forecast at 4.67 million tonnes of milled rice, some 2 percent down from a year earlier, due to lower area planted and unfavourable weather.

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 13.4 million tonnes, with 9.1 million tonnes of maize and 3.8 million tonnes of wheat.

LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (20 September)

The wet season paddy crop, accounting for about 85 percent of the annual cereal production and predominantly grown in the Mekong River basin, is due for harvest from October through December. The aggregate paddy production in 2006 is forecast at 2.6 million tonnes, 32 000 tonnes above last year. With the expected higher rice production, the country can virtually maintain its food sufficiency in 2006. However, Laos is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Some 30 percent of population is estimated to live below the national poverty line. Even in normal agricultural years, one third of the population, predominantly in upland areas, experiences rice deficit for four months and need food assistance.

MALAYSIA (19 September)

Harvesting of the irrigated secondary paddy crop, which normally accounts for more than 40 percent of total production, is ongoing, while harvesting of the main paddy crop finished in April. The 2006 paddy output is provisionally forecast at the average level of 2.2 million tonnes, following a close to average season. Rice import in 2006/07 is forecast at some 760 000 tonnes, representing some 35 percent of domestic consumption. Wheat is not produced in Malaysia and maize production is insignificant. The 2006/07 import requirement is forecast at some 1.4 million tonnes of wheat and 2.4 million tonnes of maize.

MALDIVES (April 2006)

Maldives was the smallest country hit by the tsunami on 26 December 2004, but it suffered the sharpest blow in relative terms. After more than nine months, the country is facing severe budget and economic problems, as a result of both tsunami and rising oil prices. The tourism industry accounts for a large percentage of the country's GDP. Despite repairs in a number of resorts damaged by the tsunami, tourist numbers in the first nine months of 2005 dropped by about 30 percent from the same period of the previous year, but have now reportedly returned to normal. Fisheries and agriculture were also damaged by the tsunami. FAO has been providing assistance in the building of boats and fishing gear and supplied farmers with the required agricultural inputs and tools (fertilizer, vegetable seeds, cuttings and seedlings, and hand tools).

MONGOLIA (19 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 wheat crop, virtually the only cereal produced in the country, is underway. Most parts of the country has experienced a normal rainfall and temperature this summer and the output of this crop is provisionally forecast around the average level of 127 000 tonnes. This will cover only about 33 percent of domestic wheat utilization, leaving an estimated import requirement for 2006/07 of 256 000 tonnes.

Dzud and drought conditions in Mongolia in last several years have substantially depleted household coping mechanisms and have resulted in an increase in poverty. An joint UN food security expert consultation and food security assessment mission will visit the country in October 2006.

MYANMAR (20 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 main season paddy crop, accounting for some 85 percent of annual production, will begin next month. The aggregate output is forecast at a record 24.8 million tonnes due to an increase in the area planted and normal weather conditions during the growing season. The production of maize in 2006 is forecast at 950 000 tonnes slightly above last year’s level, also as a result of increased plantings. Reflecting steady increases in paddy production in the past few years, the overall cereal supply situation is satisfactory in the country with a net export of cereals in 2005/06 forecast at some 400 000 tonnes, similar to the level of 2006.

NEPAL (20 September)

The 2006 paddy crop is due for harvest in November-December. Excessive rains in some parts are likely to have negatively affected summer crops. The outcome of the harvest is provisionally forecast at 4.3 million tonnes, some 100 000 tonnes above the crop of last year. Harvesting of maize is underway and that of millet will start soon. The aggregate output of coarse grains is expected at about last year’s level of 1.9 million tonnes. The cereal output in 2006/07 can meet the domestic consumption.

According to the Nepal Red Cross Society, more than 16 000 families in 26 districts have been affected by this year’s seasonal floods and landslides. By mid-September, over 45 000 people have received relief assistance. WFP plans to deliver some 1 300 tonnes of food to the affected population in the western regions.

The armed conflict and the unstable political situation in the country also continue to disrupt the food security and livelihood of thousands of families.

PAKISTAN (19 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 paddy and coarse grain crop is underway. Paddy production in 2006 is forecast to be less than last year’s record, but higher than the average due to favourable weather conditions. Rice exports in 2006 are forecast at 3.4 million tonnes in 2006 and 3.2 million tonnes in 2007.

The 2006 wheat crop harvested in April-May was estimated at a record level of 21.7 million tonnes, reflecting increased availability of irrigation water and increased application of fertilizers and herbicides. However, despite the larger domestic crop, the country is expected to import some 500 000 tonnes of wheat in 2006/07 to maintain strategic reserves and meet demand of the growing population.

PHILIPPINES (19 September)

Harvesting of the main rice and maize crops is underway. The 2006 aggregate paddy production is officially forecast at a record 15.5 million tonnes, some 11 percent above five-year average reflecting favourable weather, the distribution of higher yielding seeds and expanded (irrigated) areas planted. Similarly, the maize harvest is expected to reach, at a record level of 6 million tonnes, compared to 5.25 million tonnes last year and the five-year average of 4.83 million tonnes.

With this expected larger harvest, the import requirement of rice in 2006/07 is forecast at 1.3 million tonnes, down from last year’s 1.7 million tonnes, while that of maize is anticipated at 50 000 tonnes, comparing with 321 000 tonnes last year. Wheat is not produced in the country and import requirements in 2006/07 are estimated at 2.75 million tonnes.

SRI LANKA (20 September)

The main 2006 Maha rice crop, planted in October-November 2005, was harvested in March/April Output was officially estimated at some 2.135 million tonnes, 120 000 tonnes above last year’s production, mainly reflecting favourable weather conditions during the growing season. Harvesting of the 2006 irrigated Yala rice crop is underway. Aggregate paddy production in 2006 is provisionally forecast at 3.3 million tonnes to slightly higher than last year’s bumper crop. Total cereal import requirements in 2006/07 (July-June) are forecast at about 1.2 million tonnes.

The deterioration of the political and security situation in Sri Lanka since late 2005 has significantly affected food security in some areas of the country, particularly districts in the Northeast which also affected by the 2004 tsunami disaster. A WFP special operation project amounting to 2.6 million dollars has just started in September for five months in support of 600 000 beneficiaries.

THAILAND (20 September)

The main 2006 rice crop, accounting for about 75 percent of annual rice production, is at the development stage. Weather conditions since the beginning of the season in mid-May have been generally favourable . Harvesting of the crop will begin in November and the 2006 paddy output is provisionally forecast at 30.6 million tonnes, some 600 000 tonnes above the record achieved last year, reflecting the good growing conditions and attractive intervention prices that prompted an increase in plantings.

The country maintains its status as the world’s largest rice exporter. In 2006, exports are forecast at 7.3 million tonnes, compared to 7.5 million tonnes in the previous year. Output of the 2006 maize crop, just harvested, is estimated at 3.75 million tonnes, which would be enough to meet domestic consumption requirement in 2006/07.

TIMOR-LESTE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF (20 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 rice crop, one of the main staples of the country, is complete in northern areas, but is still underway in southern parts. Aggregate output of cereals (milled equivalent) is expected to recover from the drought-affected level of last year and is tentatively forecast at 129 000 tonnes. However, the country needs to import some 50 000 tonnes of cereals (mainly rice) in 2006/07 (July/June). Inadequate agricultural infrastructures and poor soil quality in most parts of Timor-Leste continue to hinder development of the agricultural sector.

The food security situation of many urban residents remains significantly affected by recent civil unrest. On 25 August 2006, the Security Council unanimously approved resolution 1 704 creating a new and expanded UN mission in Timor-Leste for an initial period of six months, subject to renewal. By the end of August, WFP had provided a 1 467 tonnes of food assistance to approximately 167 100 beneficiaries.

VIET NAM (20 September)

Harvesting of the winter/spring paddy crop was completed in July. The aggregate paddy output in 2006 is expected to be record at 36.7 million tonnes, reflecting increased plantings and higher yield. Viet Nam, the world’s second largest rice exporter after Thailand, exported around 5.2 million tonnes of rice in 2005 and a similar amount is expected in 2006.

The 2006 maize crop is estimated at 3.8 million tonnes, similar to last year’s record. At this level of production the country is expected to virtually maintain self-sufficiency in maize.

NEAR EAST

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AFGHANISTAN (13 September)

Cereal harvesting is complete and latest estimates show aggregate harvest significantly lower than previous estimates. Reduced precipitation and significantly high temperatures compromised almost all of the rain-fed cereals and affected irrigated wheat yields. In some areas of Northern and Western Afghanistan harvest has been completely lost and water tables have receded significantly prompting movement of people out of some villages in search of food and water. The situation could deteriorate in lean winter months, when households traditionally store food from summer harvests for consumption in Winter. Household assets and coping strategies have been, by and large, exhausted amid the continuing civil strife and lack of alternative sources of livelihoods. Therefore, even a small fluctuation in crop production has significant consequences, as consumption cushioning in many areas is not a viable option. Aggregate cereal harvest is now estimated at about 3.8 million tonnes, some 1.3 million tonnes down on last year’s harvest. Wheat, the main staple crop accounting for a large proportion of the daily diet, has dropped by 1 million tonnes compared with last year’s harvest of 4.2 million tonnes. The cereal harvest this year also includes some 240 000 tonnes of paddy rice, 240 000 tonnes of maize and 220 000 tonnes of barley. Aggregate cereal import requirement for the 2006/07 marketing year is forecast at about 740 000 tonnes, including 600 000 tonnes of wheat and 140 000 tonnes of rice. Cereal imports includes 150 000 tonnes of wheat in food aid requirement.

WFP under the current Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) is targeting a total of 4.8 million vulnerable people. The main recovery activities are food for work, food for education, irrigation, forestry and infrastructure rehabilitation. The relief operations, nearly a third of the total, include targeted assistance to vulnerable households, internally displaced, returning refugees and long term patients.

CYPRUS (18 September)

Sowing of the 2007 wheat and barley crops is about start. Aggregate cereal output in 2006 is estimated at 122 000 tonnes, compared to the previous year’s output of about 102 000 tonnes.

Imports of wheat in 2006/07 (May/April) are forecast at 100 000 tonnes, while aggregate imports of barley and maize are forecast at some 540 000 tonnes.

IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF (20 September)

Harvesting of the 2006 irrigated paddy and maize crops is underway. The yield of maize and rice is likely to be above normal. The 2006 paddy output is provisionally forecast at a new record level of 3.4 million tonnes, compared to 3.3 million tonnes in the previous year. In recent years, production of irrigated maize has been encouraged by the Government, and the 2006 output is also estimated to be a record at 1.7 million tonnes. The outcome of the winter wheat crop, harvested in June-July is estimated at some 14.5 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous year’s level. Reflecting the increase in production, cereal import requirements in 2006/07 (Apr/Mar) are expected to decline to about 4.6 million tonnes from 5.3 million a year ago.

IRAQ (19 September)

Planting of the 2007 winter wheat crop is expected to start within the next few weeks. Cereal production may continue to be affected by serious shortages of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, mainly as a result of the continuing security problems. The 2006 total cereal crop, harvested earlier in the year, is estimated at 3.1 million tonnes, similar to the output in 2005.

The food security situation in the country remains extremely fragile. Recent events indicate a deterioration of security conditions which led to an increase in humanitarian needs in crisis areas. The UN and other international agencies are monitoring the evolution of the situation and providing assistance as needed.

ISRAEL (18 September)

Planting of the 2007 wheat and barley crops, to be harvested during April/May next year, is about to begin. Output of wheat harvested earlier this year in May/June is estimated at 180 000 tonnes, more than 40 percent above the previous year’s crop. Imports of cereals in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at some 2.9 million tonnes.

JORDAN (18 September)

Sowing of the 2007 wheat and barley crops, for harvest in May/June next year, is about to start. In 2006, aggregate output of wheat and barley id estimated at 93 000 tonnes, compared to 66 000 tonnes in 2005. Imports of cereals in 2006/07 (July/June) are forecast at some 2 million tonnes.

LEBANON (18 September)

The recent conflict between Israel and political factions in Lebanon has affected food, fuel and medical supplies and large parts of the country’s infrastructure lies in ruins. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced within and outside the country. The cessation of hostilities has eased some of the problem but humanitarian assistance is still needed.

FAO’s estimate of the 2006 total cereal output stands at about 146 000 tonnes, an average level. However, assessments of the impact of the conflict have yet to be carried out. 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.

SAUDI ARABIA (18 September)

Planting of the wheat crop for harvest in April/May next year is about to start. Production of wheat in 2006 is estimated at 2.4 million tonnes, similar to the previous year. Total imports of cereals in 2006/07 (July/June) are currently estimated at about 9 million tonnes, including about 6.5 million tonnes of barley.

SYRIA (18 September)

Sowing of the 2007 wheat and barley crops is about to start and will continue until mid-January next year. The 2006 wheat production, harvested earlier this year, 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 a below average 700 000 tonnes.

TURKEY (18 September)

Sowing of the 2007 wheat crop is underway. The recently harvested 2006 wheat crop July, is estimated at 20.3 million tonnes, similar to the previous year’s crop. The barley crop is estimated at about 8.8 million tonnes, compared to last year’s 9.2 million tonnes.

Wheat import in the current 2006/07 (July/June) marketing year is expected to be around 800 000 tonnes.

YEMEN (18 September)

Good Rainfall has generally favoured the main 2006 sorghum and millet crops, for harvest from October. The aggregate cereal output in 2005 is forecast to fall marginally from the previous year's level to about 534 000 tonnes but would still be close to the average of the past five years.

Imports of cereals in 2006 - mainly wheat - are estimated at about 2.9 million tonnes.

ASIAN CIS

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ARMENIA (12 September)

Cereal harvesting is complete and aggregate harvest is estimated at about 409 000 tonnes, compared with 378 000 tonnes harvested in 2005. This year’s aggregate cereal harvest includes some 325 000 tonnes of wheat and 72 000 tonnes of barley. The potato crop, the second most important staple after wheat, has fared well despite relatively cold winter. Aggregate cereal import requirement during the 2006/07 marketing year is estimated at about 120 000 tonnes, including 25 000 tonnes in food aid.

AZERBAIJAN (13 September)

Latest reports indicate that Azerbaijan has harvested just over 2 million tonnes of cereals compared with 1.9 million tonnes in 2005. This year’s aggregate harvest includes some 1.6 million tonnes of wheat, 212 000 tonnes of barley and 150 000 tonnes of maize. Annual cereal consumption requirement is estimated at more than 3.1 million tonnes. Azerbaijan usually imports about a million tonnes of cereals, mainly food quality wheat to meet consumption requirements. During the 2006/07 marketing year cereal import requirement is estimated at about 967 000 tonnes, which includes 905 000 tonnes of wheat and 35 000 tonnes of maize. During the 2005/06 marketing year aggregate imports totalled some 1.05 million tonnes, including 990 000 tonnes of wheat.

GEORGIA (13 September)

Latest reports indicate that Georgia has just harvested a record 693 000 tonnes of cereals slightly up on last year’s output estimated at 688 000 tonnes. This year’s harvest includes some 197 000 tonnes of wheat, 420 000 tonnes of maize and 65 000 tonnes of barley. Georgia is a food-deficit country and needs nearly 1.5 million tonnes of cereals per annum to meet consumption requirements of mainly wheat (about 900 000 tonnes) and maize (about 450 000 tonnes). Aggregate cereal imports during the 2006/07 marketing year are forecast at about 765 000 tonnes, including 100 000 tonnes in food aid requirements. Most of the cereal imports are food quality wheat.

WFP has been provided targeted food aid to some 220 000 people under Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO), which comprises of relief and recovery components, mainly food distribution to vulnerable groups and Food for Work programmes.

KAZAKHSTAN (13 September)

Cereal harvesting is nearly complete and latest estimates put output at 14.4 million tonnes compared with 13.9 million tonnes last year. The estimated harvest this year includes some 11.58 million tonnes of wheat, 1.8 million tonnes of barley, 230 000 tonnes of paddy rice and 400 000 tonnes of maize. Cereal exports during the 2006/07 marketing year are forecast at about 4.68 million tonnes, including 4.3 million tonnes of wheat and 266 000 tonnes of barley. Cereal exports during the 2005/06 marketing year totalled some 3.9 million tonnes of mainly wheat.

THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (12 September)

The Kyrgyz Republic has just harvested some 1.77 million tonnes of cereals, which is slightly up on last year’s above-average harvest. This includes 1.08 million tonnes of wheat, 450 000 tonnes of maize, 210 000 tonnes of barley and 16 000 tonnes of paddy rice. Above-average precipitation and sufficient irrigation water availability are the main contributing factors to this year’s good harvest. Aggregate cereal import requirement for the 2006/07 marketing year is estimated at about 110 000 tonnes, including 5 000 tonnes in food aid for refugees and vulnerable households. Imports include 100 000 tonnes of wheat and 10 000 tonnes of rice.

TAJIKISTAN (12 September)

Cereal harvesting is complete and latest reports estimate aggregate output at about 974 000 tonnes compared with 964 000 tonnes in 2005. This year includes some 750 000 tonnes of wheat, 112 000 tonnes of maize and 55 000 tonnes of paddy rice. The good harvest is mainly due to above-average precipitation and ample water availability in the rivers and reservoirs that feeds the extensive irrigation systems in the country. Aggregate cereal import requirement for the 2006/07 marketing year is estimated at about 271 000 tonnes including 265 000 tonnes of food-quality wheat. During the 2005/06 marketing year Tajikistan imported some 270 000 tonnes of cereals, mainly wheat.

TURKMENISTAN (12 September)

Latest reports indicate that cereal harvesting is complete and aggregate output is estimated at about 3.2 million tonnes, nearly 145 000 tonnes up on the 2005 harvest. This year’s aggregate harvest includes some 3 million tonnes of wheat, 65 000 tonnes of barley, 110 000 tonnes of paddy rice and 50 000 tonnes of maize. The Government intends to export some 120 000 tonnes of wheat and import some 10 000 tonnes of high quality food wheat during the 2006/07 marketing year.

UZBEKISTAN (12 September)

Latest reports indicate that Uzbekistan has collected another bumper cereal harvest this year, estimated at over 5.5 million tonnes, some 183 000 tonnes down on the record harvest collected in 2005. This year’s harvest includes some 5.14 million tonnes of wheat, 140 000 tonnes of maize, 180 000 tonnes of paddy rice and 90 000 tonnes of barley. Cotton is the most important industrial crop in the country and the Government has made significant efforts to increase yields and maintain area planted with cereals and cotton. The Government intends to export some 500 000 tonnes of wheat, and import 154 000 tonnes of high quality food wheat and 120 000 tonnes of rice during the 2006/07 marketing year.

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