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- This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for white maize, black and red dry beans, and milled rice in Central America from August 2020 to July 2021, 2020/21 marketing year (MY). For the purposes of this report, Central America refers to the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Costa Rica are included given their role in the regional supply and trade.
- Preliminary regional production estimates suggest that aggregate maize, bean, and rice production for MY 2020/21 is expected to be similar to the previous year and five-year average (Figure 1). Similarly, MY 2020/21 staple food balances are expected to be near average, with surpluses of maize and beans. However, the region will maintain a large rice import gap (Figure 2) to be filled through well supplied international markets (Annex 5).
- Seasonal price increases in early 2020 were reinforced by COVID-19 related movement restrictions, the direction of energy prices, currency movements, trade, and domestic support policies, and possible disruptions to supply chains (Annex 4). As of September 2020, maize and bean prices were at average to above-average levels, while rice prices were near average (Figure 3 and Figure 4). These trends that are expected to persist through the remainder of the marketing year.
- International import levels, regional trade flows, government policies (COVID-19), and the performance of the upcoming harvests shall be monitored during MY 2020/2021. Climate conditions should be monitored closely ahead of the upcoming postrera/apante seasons, due to above-average rainfall projections that could affect postrera harvest.
- Market-based response activities involving maize and substitutes should consider this report’s projected market and trade dynamics.
This Regional Supply and Market Outlook Report summarizes market and price trends in Central America through September 2020, prior to Hurricanes Eta and Iota making landfall in Central America. This analysis will be updated as the impacts of Hurricanes Eta and Iota on M&T activities are better understood for the countries covered by FEWS NET's food security early warning analysis.