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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 27-January-2023


  1. Favourable weather conditions for 2023 winter cereals

  2. Above‑average cereal production estimated in 2022

  3. Import requirements forecast slightly below average in 2022/23

  4. Prices of wheat flour higher than year earlier

  5. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth contracted 7 percent in 2022

Favourable weather conditions for 2023 winter cereals

Sowing of the 2023 winter cereal crops, mainly wheat and triticale, took place between mid‑September and early October 2022 under overall favourable weather conditions. Crops are currently in winter dormancy phase. As of late December 2022, snow coverage was reported to be sufficient to protect crops from frosts and to secure good moisture reserves in early spring 2023 (March‑April), when plant growth resumes. The harvest of winter crops is expected to begin in mid‑July 2023.

Above‑average cereal production estimated in 2022

Harvesting of the 2022 winter and spring cereal crops finalized last August and last November, respectively. The aggregate 2022 cereal production is estimated at about 7.8 million tonnes, 8 percent above the average. According to preliminary official data, the output of wheat, maize and cereals NES (mainly triticale) is set at 2.5 million tonnes, 1.5 million tonnes and 1.4 million tonnes, respectively, above the average levels due to large plantings and adequate and well‑distributed rainfall during the season. By contrast, the output of barley is estimated slightly below the average level, at 1.1 million tonnes, due to reduced plantings.

Import requirements forecast slightly below average in 2022/23

In the 2022/23 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements are forecast at about 557 000 tonnes, 7 percent below the five‑year average volume. Wheat and maize import requirements are forecast at 250 000 tonnes and 120 000 tonnes, respectively, below the average levels due to the bumper production harvested in 2022. Barley import requirements are forecast at a slightly above‑average level of 130 000 tonnes.

On 23 September 2022, the Council of ministers adopted Resolution 636, providing for a new six‑month extension to the ban on exports of wheat and meslin, barley, maize rye, oats, buckwheat, millet, sunflower seeds and rapeseeds that was introduced in August 2021 for an initial period of six months and then extended in March 2022 ( FPMA Food Policy ).

Prices of wheat flour higher than year earlier

The national average retail prices of wheat flour remained generally stable between May 2019 and March 2022. From April to August 2022, prices increased sharply, amid the adoption on 7 April of Resolution 214 , which partially relaxed the controls on wheat flour prices that were in place since February 2021. Prices of wheat flour declined afterwards, by about 4 percent until November 2022, but remained well above the values recorded a year before due to increases in costs of production and transport.

The national average retail prices of potatoes, another food staple in the country, seasonally declined between July and November 2022, following the harvest of the new tubers. Last November, prices were well below their levels in the corresponding month a year before, due to the abundant output harvested in 2022.

GDP growth contracted by 7 percent in 2022

Based on estimates of the International Monetary Fund, the GDP growth contracted by about 7 percent in 2022. This is due to the introduction of international sanctions against the country following the start of the war in Ukraine, which depressed the domestic demand for goods and services, and hampered exports. Sanctions have targeted the country's highest foreign currency‑earning products, including crude oil and potash fertilizers and, according to the World Bank, it has caused an estimated loss of about one‑third of export revenues.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

This brief was prepared using the following data/tools:
FAO/GIEWS Country Cereal Balance Sheet (CCBS)

FAO/GIEWS Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Tool .

FAO/GIEWS Earth Observation for Crop Monitoring .

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) .