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Central America Regional Supply and Market Outlook

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • April 17, 2020
Central America Regional Supply and Market Outlook

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • This report provides an update to Regional Supply and Market Outlook Report that was published in November 2019. It summarizes the supply and market outlook for white maize, black and red dry beans, and milled rice in Central America during the, 2019/20 marketing year (MY). For the purposes of this report, Central America refers to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Costa Rica are included because of their role in regional supply and trade.

    • Preliminary production estimates suggest that, at the regional level, aggregate maize production for MY 2019/20 is expected to be below the previous year and similar to five-year average levels, while dry beans and milled rice will be similar to 2018/2019 and slightly above average. El Niño conditions affected production in the mainly subsistence-producing Dry corridor during the 2019 Primera season. This resulted in average in El Salvador, slightly below average white maize production in Guatemala, but significantly below average in Nicaragua and Honduras. 

    • Considering domestic requirements, the region is expected to have below-average maize surpluses, average bean surpluses, and an above-average rice deficit. Imports from well supplied regional and international markets are expected to help fill domestic supply gaps. Maize and rice prices are expected to remain average to above average, while bean prices are expected to remain average to below average through the end of MY 2019/20. COVID-19 related market impacts will be limited if government measures support market availability and discourage speculation.

    • International import levels, regional trade flows, government policies, and the performance of upcoming harvests will be important to monitor through July 2020. Climate conditions should be monitored as the Apante harvest concludes and the Primera season begins, especially along the Central American Dry Corridor. Prices and trade flows could directly affect the COVID-19 measures around the world and will be monitored.

    This Regional Supply and Market Outlook Update summarizes market and price trends in Central America through mid-March 2020, prior to the spread of COVID-19 to the countries covered by FEWS NET’s food security early warning analysis. A brief summary of potential COVID-related impacts on Markets and Trade (M&T) activities are highlighted. This analysis will be updated as the current and anticipated impacts of the current pandemic on M&T activities are better understood.

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