Crop prospects and food situation - No. 1, Feb 2007
Favourable prospects for 2007 world cereal crops, mainly following expansion of plantings in Europe and North America, coupled with generally satisfactory weather conditions.
FAO's latest estimates put global cereal output in 2006 at just under 2 billion tonnes, 2.7 percent lower than in the previous year but still above average. In percentage terms production of wheat declined the most, then coarse grains, while the reduction for rice is seen to be marginal.
The bulk of the decline in the 2006 world cereal output was among the major producing and exporting countries.
The 2006 cereal production in the group of LIFDCs increased significantly, with record or good crops in most regions of the world. As a result, cereal import requirements, including food aid, have declined in 2006/07 in many of these countries, mostly in Africa.
Record or above-average 2006 cereal crops have been gathered in North, Western, Central, Eastern and most countries of Southern Africa, as well as in Far East Asia and the Asian CIS. Local purchases of cereals are recommended for food aid programmes in order to support prices.
Despite the overall favourable food supply outlook for 2007, food security problems persist in several countries due to localized crop losses and or civil conflict.