FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Early prospects favourable for the 2012 maize crop
2011 wheat output well below the 2010 good harvest
Maize exports in 2011/12 forecast at a high level of 10 million tonnes
Cereal prices showed declines in December 2011
Early prospects for the 2012 main season maize crop point to a new record production
Sowing of the 2012 main season maize crop is virtually completed in the key growing areas of the South region (Parana and Rio Grande do Sul), as well as in the Centre-West region. The area planted is estimated some 11 percent higher than in the previous season, reflecting strong demand and high prices. Rains have been overall favourable for sowing operations and early development of the crop, despite insufficient precipitation in parts. Planting of the 2012 second maize season has just started in the Centre-South region. Early forecast of the 2012 aggregate maize output (main and second season) point to about 60 million tonnes, an increase of 7 percent from the record level of 2011.
Planting of 2012 irrigated rice is nearly completed in the main producing area of Rio Grande do Sul. Preliminary estimates indicate a 10 percent reduction of the sowed area compared to the past season, as a result of higher production costs and insufficient irrigation water supplies.