KYRGYZSTAN - Harvesting of 2014 cereal crops (mainly wheat, barley and maize) is almost complete. FAO’s latest estimates put this year’s wheat production at 670,000 tonnes, 16 per cent down from last year’s below-average level.
The decrease is mainly attributed to estimated lower yields, as a result of below-average rainfall during the crucial period of the growing season, as well as a slight contraction in area planted, following a shift to more profitable crops.
Similarly, the 2014 maize output is expected to decrease to 400,000 tonnes, 14 per cent below last year’s average level. Total cereal production in 2014 is estimated at 1.3 million tonnes, 18 per cent below last year’s level.
Planting of the winter cereal crops, mainly wheat and barley started in mid-August and was completed by mid-October. Weather conditions between August and mid-October have been generally favourable, benefiting planting activities. Early indications point to an increase in area planted to winter wheat to 183,000 hectares.
Cereal imports in 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to increase
The country depends heavily on cereal imports, mainly wheat, which accounts for about 98 per cent of the total cereal import requirements. As a result of the estimated decrease in this year’s wheat production, wheat imports in the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to increase to 600,000 tonnes, up 11 per cent from last year’s high level. Wheat is mainly imported from Kazakhstan.
Prices of wheat flour remained stable over the past months
Prices of wheat flour were unchanged in September and higher than the corresponding period last year. The estimated decline in the 2014 wheat production, driven by reduced yields, offset the downward pressure from the nearly-completed harvest. Increased transport and gasoline costs, which averaged more than 20 per cent higher than in September 2013, provided support.
To compensate for this year’s reduced output, the Government is negotiating with the Islamic Development Bank to help finance the importation of 150,000 tonnes of wheat from Kazakhstan, the country’s main supplier.
Prices of staple potatoes continued to decline with good supplies from the new 2014 harvest and were up to 60 per cent lower than the record highs reached in mid-year.
According to latest official reports, approximately 37 per cent of the population was estimated to live under the poverty line and the ratio of households’ budget allocated to food remained high and was estimated at around 61 per cent.
TheCropSite News Desk