GIEWS Country Brief: Haiti 19-June-2018

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Preliminary prospects for 2018 cereal production higher than average

  • Cereal imports forecast at below-average levels for 2018/19 marketing year

  • Prices of imported cereals higher year-on-year due to sliding currency**

Preliminary prospects for 2018 cereal production higher than average

Planting operations of maize, beans and sorghum of the 2018 spring season, the harvest of which accounts for about half of the total output, is ongoing. The Government estimates that planted area will shrink compared to the previous year due to the delayed onset of the rains, especially in the highlands of Nord, Nord-Est, Sud-Est and Grand-Anse departments. In Nord and Nord-Est, the 2017 Hurricane Irma has disrupted farmers' access to inputs for the current season. In addition, below-average rainfall in southern and western regions in May could have negative effects on germination. However, meteorological forecasts point to average levels of rainfall and ENSO-neutral conditions in the rest of the country until September and crop development is expected to be favourable.

The 2018 winter season ended in March and, although there are no official estimates, the output is considered to decline due to unfavourable weather conditions in January. Above-average rainfall and flooding in the Nord-Ouest Department affected the development of winter maize and beans and strong winds affected rice fields in the Artibonite Department. FAO’s preliminary forecast puts the 2018 maize production at 200 000 tonnes, similar to the last five-year average.

The 2018 aggregate cereal production’s early forecast at 453 000 tonnes, is 13 percent higher than the last five-year average. Rice and sorghum outputs are forecast at 183 000 and 70 000 tonnes, respectively, 28 and 24 percent higher than the last five-year average, assuming beneficial rainfall for the rest of the main spring season. However, certain degrees of uncertainty remains due to a 35 percent chance of an above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season during the June-November period with a possibility that one to four major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher) may develop.

Cereal imports forecast at below-average levels for 2018/19 marketing year

The cereal import requirements for the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) are anticipated at 630 000 tonnes, slightly less than the last five-year average. Rice imports, mostly from the United State of America, are anticipated at 420 000 tonnes, near-average levels. The country depends entirely on trade to cover its local needs of wheat grain and flour and imports, mostly from the United States of America and the Dominican Republic, are estimated at below-average 200 000 tonnes.

Prices of imported cereals higher year-on-year due to sliding currency

After the minor autumn season harvest in March, prices of domestically produced maize meal remained stable at their year-earlier levels. However, prices of imported maize meal and rice were higher year-on-year due to the weakened local currency. Prices of black beans remained generally lower than a year earlier except in some markets of the north.

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