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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 29-September-2023


  1. Below‑average cereal production forecast in 2023 mostly due to shortage of agricultural inputs

  2. Cereal import requirements projected to continue to increase in 2023/24 marketing year (July/June)

  3. Prices of wheat flour higher than a year earlier in June 2023

Below‑average cereal production forecast in 2023

Harvesting of the 2023 main cereal crops, primarily rice and maize, accounting for 90 percent of the annual production, is expected to start in October. Precipitation amounts were adequate since the start of the season and had a positive effect on yields. In a few minor cereal producing areas in southwestern and northeastern parts of the country, precipitation amounts have been below average, curtailing the extent of sowings and affected yields. In Lhuntse District in the northwest, heavy rainfall in mid‑July triggered flash floods and landslides, causing localized crop losses and damage to housing and infrastructure. Disaggregated by crops, production of rice and maize in 2023 is forecast at below‑average level of 40 000 tonnes and 26 000 tonnes, respectively.

According to weather forecasts, below‑average precipitation amounts are likely between October and December 2023 over southern and central parts of the country that may hinder planting operations and establishment of the 2024 main wheat and barley crops.

Cereal import requirements projected to continue to increase in 2023/24

The country relies heavily on cereal imports, mostly from India, as local production covers only about two‑thirds of the total national consumption. Cereal imports consist mostly of rice and small quantities of maize and wheat. In the 2023/24 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements are estimated at an above‑average level of almost 140 000 tonnes, continuing the steady increase observed during the last six consecutive years, mainly reflecting the demographic growth and the below‑average output of maize and rice output.

Prices of wheat flour higher than a year earlier in June 2023

Reflecting the price trends in India, domestic prices of wheat flour have increased steadily throughout 2022 and have remained overall stable afterwards. In June 2023, wheat flour prices were 7 percent higher than a year earlier.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the annual food inflation was 5.4 percent in July 2023, about the same rate of 12 months 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) .