Azerbaijan

GIEWS Country Brief: Azerbaijan 02-November-2020

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Near‑average cereal production obtained in 2020

  • Wheat import requirements in 2020/21 forecast near‑average volume

  • Prices of wheat flour remained stable between May and September 2020

Near‑average cereal production obtained in 2020

Harvesting of 2020 cereals finalized in August and the output is estimated at about 3.2 million tonnes, near the five‑year average level. Despite large plantings, the 2020 output of wheat is officially set at 1.86 million tonnes, about 15 percent below the 2019 high level and slightly below the average value due to below‑average rainfall amounts during the season in the key wheat producing northwestern district of Ganja Gazakh and central district of Aran. By contrast, barley output is estimated at about 1 million tonnes, 6 percent above average due to a large area planted.

Planting of the 2021 winter cereal crops, to be harvested from June next year, began in early November.

On 27 September 2020, clashes resumed between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces in and around the contested region of Nagorno‑Karabakh. The conflict is reported to seriously affect planting of winter cereals and harvesting of cotton, sugar beet, tobacco and vegetables in affected areas of the country.

Wheat import requirements in 2020/21 forecast near‑average volume

In the 2020/21 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements are forecast at a near‑average level of 1.3 million tonnes. Wheat import requirements, which account, on average, for more than 90 percent of total cereal imports, are forecast at a near‑average level of 1.2 million tonnes, as good domestic supplies from the bumper 2019 production compensated the reduced output obtained in 2020.

Amid the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Government took a number of measures to facilitate the trade of agricultural inputs and food products, to ensure the continuation of marketing activities of agricultural goods in the local markets, to exempt farmers and traders from movement restrictions and to support food suppliers through subsidies.

Prices of wheat flour remained stable between May and September 2020

Retail prices of wheat flour have remained generally stable between May and September 2020, amid good domestic availabilities. Prices of potatoes, another important staple in the country, seasonally declined between April and July 2020, with the arrival on the markets of the recently harvested tubers, prices remained stable in August and slightly increased in September, in line with the seasonal trends.