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GIEWS Country Brief: Panama : 25-October-2021

Pays
Panama
Sources
FAO
Date de publication
Origine
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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Harvesting of 2021 paddy crop ongoing and production prospects favourable

  • Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2021/22 marketing year

  • Prices of maize and beans higher than year‑earlier levels in September

Harvesting of 2021 paddy crop ongoing and production prospects favourable

Following the minor season paddy harvest in the August to October period, harvesting of the 2021 main crop will be underway between November 2021 and January 2022. Production prospects are favourable due to above‑average yields, as well‑distributed rains between May and September in the key producing western region had a positive impact on the paddy crop, which is predominantly rainfed. Planted area is estimated at an above‑average level following the increasing trend since 2015. According to the analysis by the Ministry of Agriculture, farmgate prices of rice have been generally increasing since 2015, suggesting improved financial gains for farmers.

The 2021 main season maize crop is currently at flowering stage and will be harvested between December 2021 and February 2022. The area sown was average due to slightly below‑average rainfall levels at planting time in the main producing provinces of Los Santos and Herrera. Weather forecasts indicate a high likelihood of average precipitation amounts in southern areas in November and December 2021, with a positive impact on yields. The 2021 aggregate maize production, including the early harvested main season output, is forecast at an average level.

Cereal import requirements forecast at high levels in 2021/22 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2021/22 marketing year (September/August) are forecast at the high level of 820 000 tonnes due to the sustained demand of maize by the domestic feed industry. Wheat imports are forecast to rise for the fourth consecutive year, reflecting the increasing need for wheat products in line with population growth.

Prices of maize and beans higher than year‑earlier levels in September

Prices of rice are generally stable as the government regulates them. Rice is one of the 14 basic food items of which maximum prices are fixed since mid‑2014 under the Executive Decree No. 165. Regarding beans, prices increased seasonally during the third quarter of 2021. As of September, they were 5 percent higher than a year earlier in line with trends in the international market. Prices of maize have been increasing since June 2021 and were more than 20 percent higher year on year in September due to the elevated export prices in the United States of America, the main maize supplier to the country.