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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 02-February-2023


  1. Record‑low cereal output expected in 2022 due to low wheat and maize sowings

  2. Maize crop of 2023 at vegetative and flowering stages

  3. Cereal import requirements in 2022/23 forecast at above‑average levels

  4. Wholesale prices of wheat and maize over 20 percent up from year‑earlier levels in December 2022

Recordlow cereal output expected in 2022 due to low wheat and maize sowings

Harvesting of the 2022 wheat crop is nearing completion and a belowaverage output is anticipated due to the low level of plantings. The planted area is officially estimated at 188 000 hectares, more than 10 percent below the fiveyear average, due to high costs and lower availability of inputs, resulting from supply chain bottlenecks. Belowaverage precipitation amounts in May and June 2022 in the key producing regions of Araucanía, Biobío and Maule, contributed to constrain the extent of plantings.

The 2022 aggregate cereal production is expected at a recordlow level of 2.6 million tonnes, as a result of low plantings of both wheat and maize crops. The area sown with oats was near average in 2022, but lower than in 2020 and 2021, when an increasing export demand for processed products resulted in large sowings.

Maize crop of 2023 at vegetative and flowering stage

The 2023 maize crop is currently at vegetative and flowering stages and satellite imagery points to slightly belowaverage crop conditions due to belownormal precipitation amounts since October 2022. According to an official survey, plantings are estimated at 56 000 hectares, near the recordlow level registered in 2022. Rainfall amounts during the February to April period are forecast at belowaverage levels, likely constraining yields.

Cereal import requirements in 2022/23 forecast at aboveaverage levels

Cereal import requirements in the 2022/23 marketing year (April/March) are forecast at an aboveaverage level of 4.1 million tonnes, reflecting the sustained local demand of maize for feed use and wheat for food and feed (salmon) use. The increase in import needs is exacerbated by the belowaverage domestic cereal production in 2022.

Wholesale prices of wheat and maize over 20 percent up from yearearlier levels in December2022

Wholesale prices of wheat increased sharply during the first eight months of 2022 due to the upsurge of prices in international markets, where the country sources about half of its domestic wheat consumption requirements. Prices declined between September and December 2022 but remained 25 percent higher yearonyear. Elevated transportation and production costs contributed to the high level of wheat prices. Prices of yellow maize were also more than 20 percent above their yearearlier levels, supported by high export prices in Argentina, the country’s main maize supplier.

In retail markets, bread prices have declined since August 2022, reflecting the recent weakening of prices of the main ingredient (wheat), while retail prices of rice have been on the rise due to higher export prices from Argentina and Paraguay, the country’s key rice suppliers. However, in December 2022, prices of bread, rice and potatoes were still above their values a year earlier.

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) .