• This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for white maize, black and red dry beans, and milled rice in Central America during the August 2019 to July 2020, 2019/20 marketing year (MY). 1 For the purposes of this report, Central America refers to the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Costa Rica are included because of their role in regional supply and trade.
• Preliminary production estimates suggest that, at the regional level, aggregate maize production for MY 2019/20 is expected to be below the previous year and five-year average levels, while dry beans and milled rice will be similar to 2018/2019 and slightly above average (Figure 1). El Niño conditions affected production in the mainly subsistence production Dry corridor (Figure 3) during the 2019 Primera season. This resulted in slightly below average maize production in Guatemala and Honduras.
• Considering domestic requirements, the region is expected to have below average maize surpluses, above average bean surpluses, and an average rice deficit (Figure 2). Imports from well supplied regional and international markets (Annex 5) are expected to help fill domestic supply gaps. Maize and rice prices are expected to remain average to above-average, while bean prices are expected to remain average to below average through the end of the 2019/20 MY (Figure 9 through Figure 11).
• International import levels, regional trade flows, government policies, and the performance of upcoming harvests will be important to monitor in 2020. Climate conditions ahead of the upcoming Postrera/Apante seasons should be monitored closely, especially along the Central American Dry Corridor