GIEWS Country Brief: Mongolia 11-July-2012
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Good rains favour the current cropping season
- Record cereal harvest was estimated for 2011
- Livestock numbers have partially recovered but still remain below the pre-2009 natural disaster levels Prices of rice and wheat flour have remained stable for several months but overall inflation is over 15 percent
Good rains favour the current cropping season
Planting of the 2012 main season crops, mainly wheat, was completed in May. Based on remote sensing data, good rains since the start of the cropping season (April-June) and satisfactory vegetation conditions, point to a favourable situation for the 2012 cereal crop.
Record cereal wheat in 2011
The 2011 wheat production was officially estimated at a record level of 435 889 tonnes, 26 percent up from the previous year’s good output, mainly reflecting an increase in the planted area.
Wheat and rice are the two main cereals imported. Owing to the record wheat harvest in 2011, the total cereal imports for the 2011/12 marketing year (October/September) are forecast at 116 000 tonnes or 19 percent below the previous year’s level.
Livestock numbers have partially recovered but still remain below the pre-2009 natural disaster levels The total livestock and breeding animal numbers have recovered since the Dzud in 2009/10 but are still below the pre-disaster levels. At the end of 2011, the total number of animals was 36.3 million down from 44.0 million at the end of 2009. Similarly, breeding stock heads are currently estimated at 13.1 million down by 2.2 million from 2009. The livelihood and food security of the affected half a million rural people because the 2009/10 Dzud are slowly being restored.
According to the National Statistical Office of Mongolia, the country experienced a growth in GDP of 16.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012, mainly due to favourable international prices of its export commodities, copper and gold in particular.
Prices of rice and wheat flour have remained stable for several months but the overall inflation is over 15 percent
The year-on-year consumer price inflation (CPI) in May 2012 was estimated at 15.4 percent. However, the price for wheat flour, the main food staple in the country, has remained relatively stable since November 2011 and in May 2012 it was almost 4 percent below the same month last year. The country imports about one-third of its annual wheat consumption requirements, and the recent price declines reflect the trend in the international markets in the past months.
Similarly, prices of rice show comparatively stable trends in recent months.
Bread prices, generally subsidized in the capital city Ulaanbaatar, are more stable and below the wheat flour prices.
In May 2012, prices for beef and mutton were 66 and 75 percent higher respectively than a year earlier, due to increased demand and the exceptional livestock losses following the Dzud in 2010. The prices in Ulaanbaatar capital city market follow the usual seasonal lows during October-December and highs during May-July.