Total cereal production is anticipated to reach a new record in 2016. Most of the increase is due to a well above-average wheat crop production, which is estimated to rise by 40% from the 2015 level. Wheat production is set at 200 thousand tons in 2016, following increased planting area and very good yields. Similarly, maize output is expected to rebound in 2016 to 382 thousand tons after the exceptionally low level in 2015 of 231 thousand tons.
Planting of the 2017 winter wheat for harvest in July was completed by the end of October. Remote sensing data show above average precipitation levels in recent months, which is expected to benefit crop development.
Cereals imports in the 2016/2017 marketing year (July/June) are anticipated to remain close to last year despite a record high wheat production in 2016. The country imports about 90% of its total domestic wheat consumption as local production is of low quality. Most of the wheat and wheat flour imports come from the Russian Federation.
Prices of wheat flour declined in November by 2% and were around their levels at the same time a year earlier. Despite the record domestic wheat harvest, prices were prevented to decline further by the relatively high export quotations from the Russian Federation, the main supplier. Prices of potatoes declined in November and were 30% lower than their year-earlier levels following a good local production in 2016. (Reliefweb/Business World Magazine)