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Central America Regional Supply and Market Outlook

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • February 5, 2019
Central America Regional Supply and Market Outlook

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The 2018/19 marketing year (MY) in Central America spans from August 2018 to July 2019, covering three main harvests—the August-to-October Primera harvest, November-to-December the Postrera harvest, February to April Apante/Postrera tardía harvest. While the August-to-October 2018 harvest data consists of more reliable estimates, the November-to-December and January-to-February harvest data are projected and may be updated as up to date harvest estimates become available.

    • Preliminary production estimates suggest that, at the regional level, aggregate maize, dry bean, and rice production levels for MY 2018/19 are expected to be below the previous year but above the five-year average. This is despite an extended dry spell that resulted in below-average production for many households in the marginal-producing Dry Corridor.

    • After taking domestic requirements into consideration, the region is expected to have above average maize and bean self-sufficiency levels and an average rice deficit. Imports from well supplied regional and international markets are expected to help fill domestic supply gaps. 

    • Average to slightly below-average rainfall is expected in Nicaragua and Honduras until March 2019, but this is not expected to seriously affect crops like beans. While the agro climatology forecast is for weak El Niño conditions, this is not expected to seriously affect Apante season bean production, the important harvest in this period. 

    • Nominal maize, bean, and rice prices are expected to remain generally average to above-average in all countries through the July 2019, which marks the end of the current marketing year (July 2019) ahead of the next Primera harvest which starts in August 2019. International import levels, regional trade flows, government policies, and the performance of upcoming harvests will be important to monitor in 2019. El Niño conditions for the March-May 2019 quarter should be monitored closely as they could cause a delay in the Primera season rains, which mainly affects the communities located in the Central American Dry Corridor.

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