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Central America Regional Supply and Market Outlook

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • January 31, 2018
Central America Regional Supply and Market Outlook

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for white maize grain, black and red dry beans, and milled rice in Central America during the 2017/18 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 also included in this report because of their relevance in regional staple food supply and trade.

    • The 2017/18 MY spans from August 2017 to July 2018, covering three main harvests: the 2017 August-to-October Primera harvest, the 2017/2018 November-to-March Postrera harvest, and the 2018 January-to-February Apante/Postrera tardía harvest. The November-to-March 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 and bean production for MY 2017/18 is expected to be above the previous year and five-year average levels for a second consecutive year, and rice is expected to be near average levels. Taking domestic requirements into consideration, the region is expected to have significantly above average maize and bean surpluses, and an average rice deficit. Imports from well supplied regional and international markets are expected to help fill domestic supply gaps. 

    • Nominal maize, bean, and rice prices are expected to remain generally average to below-average in all countries through the end of the marketing year (July 2018) when the next Primera harvest starts in August 2018.

    • International import levels, regional trade flows, government policies, and the performance of upcoming harvests will be important to monitor in 2018. Any market-based response activities should consider the projected market and trade dynamics put forth in this report. 

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