Belarus

GIEWS Country Brief: Belarus 24-May-2021

Attachments

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Favourable weather conditions for 2021 winter cereals

  • Above-average cereal output obtained in 2020

  • Import requirements forecast below average in 2020/21

  • Prices of wheat flour stable and near levels of year before

Favourable weather conditions for 2021 winter cereals

Sowing of the 2021 winter cereals took place last October and crops are expected to be harvested from July. Weather conditions have been overall favourable during the season, resulting in near‑average vegetation conditions as of early May (see ASI map).

Planting of the 2021 spring cereals, mainly barley and maize, is ongoing under overall beneficial weather conditions and crops will be harvested between August and November.

Above‑average cereal output obtained in 2020

Harvesting of the 2020 cereal crops was completed last November and the aggregate production is estimated at 8.4 million tonnes, almost 20 percent above the five‑year average level. The output of wheat is officially estimated at about 2.8 million tonnes, 18 percent above average due to large plantings and favourable weather conditions during the season, which boosted yields. The 2020 maize output is set at 1.1 million tonnes, well above the average level due to a large area planted. Production of cereals NES (mainly triticale) and barley is set at near‑average levels of about 1.6 million tonnes and 1.4 million tonnes, respectively.

Import requirements forecast below average in 2020/21

In the 2020/21 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements are forecast at 388 000 tonnes, about 20 percent below the five‑year average volume. Wheat and maize import requirements are forecast at 150 000 tonnes and 50 000 tonnes, respectively, well below the average volumes due to the harvest of large outputs in 2020. By contrast, barley import requirements are forecast at an above‑average level of 150 000 tonnes, to account for the low level of stocks following the reduced domestic outputs obtained in 2018 and 2019.

Prices of wheat flour stable and near levels of year before

Retail prices of wheat flour have been overall stable since May 2019 and, in March 2021, they were close to their levels a year before.

Prices of potatoes, another food staple in the country, seasonally increased between September 2020 and March 2021, reaching levels well above those in the corresponding month a year before due to the harvest of a year‑on‑year smaller output.