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Country Briefs

  El Salvador

Reference Date: 18-October-2021

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Maize production in 2021 anticipated at above‑average level

  2. Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 forecast slightly above average

  3. Prices of white maize more than 15 percent higher year on year in September

Maize production in 2021 anticipated at above‑average level

Planting of the 2021 minor season maize crop is ongoing in the eastern region, where this season’s production is concentrated. Soil moisture conditions are currently adequate and rainfall amounts are forecast at average levels in the November 2021 to January 2022 period, raising yield prospects. According to official forecast, the planted area with the minor season maize crop is expected to exceed the average, as farmers are encouraged to expand plantings by high prices of the grain and good soil moisture.

The harvest of the 2021 main season maize crop was completed at the end of September. Production is officially estimated at 880 000 tonnes, well above the average due to large plantings and above‑average yields. Although the temporal distribution of seasonal rains was mostly erratic, the accumulated rainfall amounts were near the average and favoured a normal crop development. The government distributed improved seeds and fertilizers to about 400 000 farmers. Overall, the 2021 maize production is anticipated at an above‑average level of 1.1 million tonnes, including a forecast of the output of the minor season crops.

Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 forecast slightly above average

Cereal import requirements in the 2021/22 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at about 1.1 million tonnes, slightly exceeding the five‑year average. The requirements of maize imports, which account for about two‑thirds of total imports, are anticipated at average levels. Regarding wheat, the country entirely depends on imports to cover the domestic demand for human consumption. Wheat imports requirements in 2021/22 are forecast slightly above the average as the strong annual domestic demand is partially offset by large carryover stocks from a year earlier.

Prices of white maize more than 15 percent higher year on year in September

Prices of white maize have been increasing from March to September 2021 on account of high production and transportation costs. As of September, prices were 18 percent higher year on year. With commercialization of the 2021 main season harvests, prices are expected to decline from October onwards. Prices of red beans have been generally stable during the third quarter of 2021 and were below their year‑earlier levels as markets were adequately supplied by the good harvests and large imports in 2020. Prices of rice held steady since January 2021 and, in September, were lower than their high levels a year earlier, when prices increased following trends in the international markets.

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