Peru

GIEWS Country Brief: Peru 22-October-2020

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Paddy production in 2020 forecast at above‑average level

  • Cereal import requirements anticipated at high levels in 2020

  • Abundant supplies put downward pressure on prices of rice in September

Paddy production in 2020 forecast at above‑average level

Harvesting of the paddy crop takes place throughout the year and about one‑fifth of the annual production is harvested in the October‑December period. The 2020 paddy output gathered during the first eight months of the year were officially estimated at an above‑average level in the major producing regions of San Martín, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Piura mainly as favourable weather conditions boosted yields.

The 2020 paddy production is forecast to at 3.4 million tonnes, 6 percent higher than the previous five‑year average, driven by above‑average yields. The planted area is estimated at a near‑average level of 420 000 hectares.

The harvest of the 2020 main season yellow maize was completed in September and production is estimated at a below‑average level. This is due to a contraction in planted area in the key cropping coastal areas, prompted by the low prices at planting time. Currently, planting of the minor season maize crop is nearing completion and average level sowings are expected as prices have been steadily recovering from July onwards. Average rainfall forecast for the October‑December period is expected to favour crops at development and flowering stages.

The 2020 aggregate maize production, including an average white maize output, harvested between April and August, is anticipated at 1.5 million tonnes, about 5 percent below the five‑year average.

Cereal import requirements anticipated at high levels in 2020

Cereal imports in the 2020 marketing year (January/December) are forecast at 6.5 million tonnes, similar to the 2019 record level. Maize imports, which account for 60 percent of the total annual cereal imports have been on the rise during the past ten years due to the strong demand of yellow maize for feed by the poultry sector. With the highest per capita consumption of chicken meat in Latin America, the domestic poultry sector has been growing steadily during the last two decades. Wheat imports, which account for more than 30 percent of the total annual cereal imports, are estimated at slightly above‑average levels, mainly reflecting the increasing demand for human consumption due to population growth.

Abundant supplies put downward pressure on prices of rice in September

Wholesale prices of rice weakened for the fourth consecutive month in September due to improved market availabilities from the above‑average 2020 harvest and larger imports in the April‑August period compared to the same period in 2019. As of September, prices of rice were 5 percent higher year on year after the upsurge in the March‑May period when retail demand soared amidst the COVID‑19 pandemic. Prices of yellow maize have been increasing since July, mainly reflecting the reduced harvest of the 2020 main season crop. Prices of wheat flour have been stable throughout the year, reflecting adequate imports.