Kyrgyzstan

GIEWS Country Brief: Kyrgyzstan 18-July-2022

Attachments

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Slightly above-average cereal production forecast in 2022

  • Wheat import requirements in 2022/23 forecast at near-average level

  • Prices of wheat flour increased since February 2022

  • Expected reduction in remittances inflows in 2022

Slightly above-average cereal production forecast in 2022

Harvesting of the 2022 winter cereal crops, mainly wheat and barley, is ongoing, while planting of spring cereals, mainly maize, finalized in June and harvesting is expected to begin in August. Weather conditions have been overall favourable during the season, benefitting yields of winter cereal crops (ASI map) at end-May, just before the harvest.

Total 2022 cereal production is forecast at about 1.7 million tonnes, 3 percent above the five-year average level. Maize and barley outputs are forecast at 690 000 tonnes and 440 000 tonnes, respectively, slightly above the five-year average volumes due to large plantings. The output of wheat (winter and spring crops) is forecast at a near-average level of 560 000 tonnes.

Wheat import requirements in 2022/23 forecast at near-average level

In the 2022/23 marketing year (July/June), wheat import requirements are forecast at a near-average level of 650 000 tonnes due to adequate availabilities, amid a favourable domestic production outlook. Wheat imports account, on average, for 95 percent of the total annual cereal imports and for almost half of the domestic consumption needs of wheat.

Wheat is mostly imported from the Russian Federation and from Kazakhstan. In the latter, restrictions on wheat exports were introduced on 14 April 2022 until 15 June 2022 and then extended until end-September 2022 (FPMA Food Policy). Similarly, in the Russian Federation, a ban on wheat exports towards countries in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was in place until 30 June 2022 (FPMA Food Policy). Some concerns over the capacity to cover wheat import requirements in the 2022/23 marketing year arise, amidst the possibility of new export restrictions by these countries.

On 17 March 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers of the country adopted Resolution 140, providing for the six-month suspension of exports of some food products, including wheat and wheat flour. The measure was taken in order to curb the price increases and preserve food security.

Prices of wheat flour increased since February 2022

National average retail prices of first grade wheat flour seasonally increased between February and June, supported also by elevated global export quotations and limited domestic availabilities due to the very low output harvested in 2021. Prices in June reached levels about 30 percent higher than a year before.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple food, remained overall stable between December 2021 and May 2022 and increased sharply in June, in line with seasonal patterns. Prices reached levels slightly above those in the corresponding month a year before following the harvest of a year-on-year lower output.

Expected reduction in remittances inflows in 2022

In recent years, remittances accounted for about 30 percent of the country’s Gross domestic product (GDP) and the majority originated from the Russian Federation. In 2022, the country is likely to experience a sharp reduction in remittances inflows, mainly due to the implementation of international sanctions against the Russian Federation, following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. According to the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, in 2022, remittances may decline by over 20 percent year on year. In the Russian Federation, sanctions are expected to result in high unemployment rates and to negatively affect demand for goods and services, reducing work opportunities also for migrants. As a result, the food security situation of households, whose income is highly dependent on remittances, will likely deteriorate.