Food Security To Improve Over Coming Months

BMI View: We have revised up our Ethiopian corn production forecasts for the 2013/14 season, as the country's 'kiremt' rains were relatively abundant. Supply of agricultural inputs was also relatively abundant, and only a few minor regions saw erratic weather. The improved supply has also enabled livestock conditions to improve, and local maize prices in key markets have collapsed as supplies starting coming online as of December. Food security should improve in the coming months, but we expect the country will record moderately growing deficits over the long term.

We have revised up our 2013/14 Ethiopian corn production forecasts, and now see production growing by 9% for the season to reach 6mn tonnes. Corn in Ethiopia is generally harvested during the 'meher' season, which runs from October to December. The crop relies heavily on the 'kiremt' rains, which run from June to September, and these were generally abundant and well distributed according to local sources. Distribution of agricultural inputs was also timely. Indeed, there are only a few areas where the weather was erratic, mainly in marginal producing areas. Of the 11 main regions in Ethiopia, only eastern Oromia had significantly less rainfall than its long-term average. The good growing weather has also improved conditions for livestock in most areas.

Food prices had been rising in Ethiopia in recent months leading up the maize harvest, as the 'belg' harvests (which ended in August) were relatively poor for some crops. However, food prices have collapsed since supplies came online starting in December. The drop in prices has meant an improvement in food security in most of the country, with deteriorating food security only in small pockets.

Steep Decline
Ethiopia - Wholesale Maize Prices In Selected Cities (ETB/100kg)

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Related sectors of this article: Agribusiness, Grains - Agribusiness
Geography: Ethiopia

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