Mongolia

GIEWS Country Briefs: Mongolia 22-December-2011

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

Record cereal harvest is estimated for 2011

Livestock numbers have almost recovered following the aftermath of the 2009 natural disaster

Prices of rice and wheat (flour) have remained stable for several months but consumer price inflation is over 10 percent per annum

Record cereal harvest is estimated for 2011

Harvesting of the main season crops, mainly wheat, barley and oats, was completed in September. The total wheat production is officially estimated at a record level of 445 300 tonnes, 28.6 percent from the previous year’s good output, mainly reflecting the increase in the planted area. Small amount of barley and oats are also produced.

Wheat and rice are the two main cereals imported. Owing to the record wheat harvest this year, the total cereal imports for 2011/12 are forecast at 108 000 or 24.5 percent below the previous year’s level. Livestock numbers have almost recovered following the aftermath of the 2009 natural disaster Livestock raising is the dominant agricultural activity and one of country’s key economic sectors. The breeding animal numbers have gone up from 10.5 million in September 2010 to 13.0 million by September 2011, recovering from the impact of the Dzud in 2009/10. The livestock numbers have risen to approximately 43 million. The livelihood and food security of the affected half a million rural people because the 2009/10 Dzud have slowly being restored. However, the lingering effects of the livestock losses still weigh high on the livelihood of those affected and would take sustained effort to overcome.

According to the statistics from the Mongolian national Statistics Office, the country experienced a growth in GDP increased by 9.7 percent in the first half of 2011 after an increase of 6.1 percent last year, mainly due to the favourable international prices of its export commodities, copper and gold in particular.

Prices of rice and wheat (flour) have remained stable for several months but the overall consumer price inflation is over 10 percent per annum

The year-on-year consumer price inflation in November 2011 was 10.8 percent. However, the price for wheat flour, the main food staple in the country, has remained relatively stable since August 2010, but decreased slightly November. Price of rice in November decreased by 8 percent from the same month last year. It has been stable between June and October 2011. The country imports about one-third of its annual wheat consumption requirements, and the recent price declines reflect the decline in the international price in the past two months. Bread prices, generally subsidised in the capital city Ulaanbaatar, are more stable and below the wheat flour prices. Beef and mutton prices in Ulaanbaatar capital city market follow the usual seasonal lows during October-December and highs during May-July. However the increases have been much more marked in 2010 and 2011 due to exceptional livestock losses following the Dzud earlier.