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Improved Prospects for Haiti 2014 Spring Cereal Season

09 June 2014

HAITI - Planting of the main spring cereal season is mostly concluded. After lower-than-normal precipitation in March, remote sensing data indicate well above-average precipitation since mid-April in most parts of the country. The abundant precipitation may have prevented a significant reduction in plantings, which were delayed by the dry weather and benefited early-planted crops, particularly in the main-growing L’Artibonite and Ouest departments.

Assuming that normal weather conditions continue during the remaining of the season, as well as an average second season rice crop, to be planted from July, preliminary FAO forecasts point to a 2014 aggregate cereal production of 556,000 tonnes, three per cent up from last year and near the country’s five-year average.

Cereal imports for the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) estimated at above average levels
Imports in the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are preliminarily estimated at 706 000 tonnes, marginally higher than the previous year and above the five-year average. The increase mainly reflects growth in imports of wheat which is not produced in the country. Early forecasts for the 2014/15 marketing year also point to a further growth in imports, primarily driven by wheat but also rice, as imports cover 80 percent of domestic consumption.

Rice and maize meal prices were unchanged in May and at low levels

Prices of imported rice - the main food staple - remained unchanged or declined in most markets in May. This mainly reflects trends in rice export quotations from the United States, which is the main supplier of the country.

Prices of maize meal, the country’s second most important food staple, remained relatively stable in most markets and were lower than a year earlier, reflecting adequate supplies from the recovered 2013 production. The exception to this trend is Cap Haitien and Hinche where prices increased seasonally in May but were still lower than at the same time last year.

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