Area planted with 2020 winter cereals estimated at above‑average level
Planting of the 2020 winter cereal crops, mainly wheat, for harvest in June/July, took place between November 2019 and mid‑January 2020. The area planted is estimated at a slightly above‑average level of 1 million hectares, reflecting the Government's strategy to reduce import dependency by increasing domestic production.
Well below‑average precipitation amounts between September and December 2019 affected soil moisture in some croplands (particularly in the southern district of Lankaran and in the southwestern district of Yukhari Garabakh), where, according to satellite‑based imagery, vegetation conditions are below average. As crops are currently still in the germination phase, rainfall performance in the coming months is crucial to determine the 2020 winter cereals output level.
Cereal production in 2019 set at above‑average level
Harvesting of 2019 cereals finalized in August 2019 and the output is estimated at 3.5 million tonnes, more than 15 percent above the five‑year average. The high outturn is mainly due to favourable weather conditions across the season and well above‑average area planted with wheat, output of which is estimated at 2.2 million tonnes, about 20 percent above the average level. Barley output is estimated also well above the average.
Wheat import requirements in 2019/20 forecast slightly below average
In the 2019/20 (July/June) marketing year, total cereal import requirements are forecast at about 1.3 million tonnes, 10 percent below the average level. Wheat import requirements, which account on average for more than 90 percent of total cereal imports, are forecast at slightly a below‑average level of 1.2 million tonnes, due to good domestic supplies following large outputs obtained in the last two years.
Prices of wheat flour remained stable in December
Retail prices of wheat flour have remained stable from March 2019 to December (last available data), amid the good domestic output obtained in 2019.
Prices of potatoes, another important staple in the country, have been generally following the seasonal trends. They decreased from May to August 2019 and remained stable between September and December 2019.
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