Crop Prospects and Food Situation No. 4 - December 2011

HIGHLIGHTS

  • As the year draws to a close, FAO’s latest estimate confirms a record high global cereal production in 2011, which should be sufficient to cover the expected increase in utilization in 2011/12 and also allow a moderate replenishment of world reserves.

  • International grain prices remained mostly under downward pressure in November, reflecting the confirmation of a strong recovery in production amid deteriorating world economic prospects and a stronger US dollar.

  • Based on the estimated increase in import requirements, the cereal import bill of LIFDCs for 2011/12 marketing season is forecast by FAO at a record level.

  • In West Africa, in several parts of the Sahel, especially in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, agricultural production has been affected this year by late onset of rains, prolonged dry spells and significant pest infestations, and may impact on regional cereal markets leading to rising prices and food insecurity.

  • In Eastern Africa, despite some improvements in Somalia due to substantial humanitarian assistance and favourable rains, food insecurity is expected to remain critical in drought-affected areas until the harvest of short season crops in early 2012. Prospects for the current main season harvest have improved in Ethiopia.