Armenia

GIEWS Country Brief: Armenia 19-July-2021

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

Below‑average cereal output forecast in 2021

Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 forecast at above‑average level

Prices of wheat flour increased slightly in recent months and are higher than a year before

Below‑average cereal output forecast in 2021

Harvesting of the 2021 winter crops, mainly wheat, is ongoing, while planting of the 2021 spring crops, mostly barley, finalized in June and harvesting is expected to begin in August. Below‑average precipitation amounts and warmer than average temperatures since May negatively affected vegetation conditions in the country, particularly in parts of the western provinces of Armavir and Aragatsotn, where on average about 20 percent of the annual wheat output is produced. These unfavourable weather conditions, coupled with reduced availability of irrigation water will likely have a negative impact on cereals yields.

As a result, the 2021 total cereal output is forecast at about 208 000 tonnes, about 30 percent below the average level. Production of wheat is expected to be at about 120 000 tonnes, well below the five‑year average. This is due to a gradual reduction in planted area that almost halved since 2015, as farmers switched to more profitable crops, coupled with the adverse weather conditions. Similarly, the output of barley is forecast at below‑average 70 000 tonnes.

Cereal import requirements in 2021/22 forecast at above‑average level

Cereal import requirements in the 2021/22 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 426 000 tonnes, about 20 percent above the five‑year average volume. Wheat import requirements, which account for most of the total cereal purchases, are forecast at above‑average 380 000 tonnes, on account of the low outputs obtained in the last two years and the reduced production forecast in 2021.

On 16 June 2021, in an effort to ensure adequate domestic availabilities and contain price increases, the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission introduced a temporary ban on buckwheat exports from Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, to countries outside the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The measure will expire on 31 August 2021 ( see FPMA Policy ).

Prices of wheat flour increased slightly in recent months and are higher than a year before Domestic prices of first grade, wheat flour, have been moderately increasing since December 2020. In June 2021, prices were about 8 percent above their levels a year before due to high export quotations from the Russian Federation, the country’s key wheat supplier, and supported by the slight depreciation of the national currency.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple food, seasonally increased between September 2020 and May 2021, and declined sharply in June, as harvesting of short‑cycle potatoes started in the country and increased market supplies.