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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 30-March-2023


  1. Output of cereals and beans in 2022 officially estimated at above‑average level

  2. Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2022/23 marketing year

  3. Prices of staple crops higher year‑on‑year in February 2023

Output of cereals and beans in 2022 officially estimated at above‑average level

Harvesting of the 2022 third bean crop, which accounts for about 35 percent of the annual production, is nearing completion. According to official estimates, the 2022 aggregate red bean output is expected at an above‑average level of 220 000 tonnes, reflecting an increase in planted area, as farmers responded positively to the strong demand for exports.

The 2022 cereal production is officially estimated at 870 000 tonnes, about 3 percent above the five‑year average. Paddy production was above average, reflecting an increased use of high yield varieties and an expansion of area sown. After a decline in 2020, maize output increased for the second consecutive year in 2022 and reached an average level of nearly 390 000 tonnes. The increase in planted area is due to adequate soil moisture levels and farmers’ expectations on high financial returns due to high prices of maize at planting time.

Planting of the 2023 main season maize will start in May. Weather forecasts point to below‑average rainfall amounts from June onwards, associated with the El Niño phenomenon, with likely negative effects on the extent of plantings as well as crop yields.

Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2022/23 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2022/23 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at an above‑average level of nearly 800 000 tonnes, reflecting the sustained domestic demand of wheat‑based products by households as well as for yellow maize by the feed industry.

Prices of staple crops higher year‑on‑year in February 2023

In February 2023, wholesale prices of red beans were well above their year‑earlier levels, following sharp increases in October and November 2022. During these months, precipitation amounts were above average and caused concerns about yields, as the bean crops are susceptible to excessive soil moisture. The strong demand by neighbouring countries also provided upward pressure on prices. Exports of beans in the second half of 2022 were nearly 25 percent above the five‑year average.

Prices of white maize rose for the third consecutive month in February 2023, after seasonal declines between August and November 2022. Despite an increase in 2022 cereal production, prices of maize and rice were 20 and 10 percent, respectively, above their year‑earlier levels, due to elevated production and transport costs. In the case of rice, rising quotations of the United States of America, the main source of imports, also supported the increase. Overall, prices of food items were higher year‑on‑year, with the annual inflation rate of food and non‑alcoholic beverages at 15.2 percent in February 2023, up from 11 percent a year before.

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) .