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Food Outlook - June 2007










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    Book (stand-alone)
    Food Outlook, June 2006 2006
    The recent months saw commodity markets as a whole becoming more volatile with a steady upward trend in prices. In agricultural markets, some important food and feed commodities gained on supply tightness and stronger demand while in the energy complex and metals, the tighter supply and demand balance resulted in a steep increase in prices. Amid political uncertainties and surging energy prices, agricultural markets over the past year have also had to confront abnormal incidences of natural disa sters, ranging from devastating hurricanes to fast spreading animal diseases. Based on current indications, several agricultural commodities are likely to experience still more unstable months ahead and, in most instances, the fundamentals point to even further gains in prices. This eventuality seems strongest for cereals, as world cereal demand is forecast to surpass its supply in the new season and push down stocks to an uncomfortably low level. For sugar, while a further surge in prices from the current high levels could be considered as less probable, the main risk remains the continuing price volatility. For the oilseed complex, as well as meat and dairy, fundamentals at this point in time do not support a tightening in the markets and the near-term price prospects are more on the downside instead. Against this background of mixed outlook but generally firm prices, FAO is forecasting an increase of over 2 percent in the world food import bill in 2006 compared to 2005. The increase is expected to be strongest for cereals and sugar but smallest for meat. Given their higher share as importers of food and feed, the developing countries’ bill is forecast to grow by 3.5 percent while that of the Low Income Food Deficit Countries is forecast to jump by nearly 7 percent.
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    Crop Prospects and Food Situation - No. 1, February 2008 2008
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    Early prospects point to the possibility of a significant increase in world cereal production in 2008, mainly following expansion of winter grain plantings in Europe and the United States coupled with generally satisfactory weather conditions. International prices of most cereals remain high and some are still on the increase. Continuing strong demand and dwindling stocks are providing the backdrop to a prevailing tight global cereal supply and demand situation in the current 2007/08 marke ting season, keeping upward pressure on international markets. Cereal imports of the LIFDCs as a group in 2007/08 are forecast to decline by about 2 percent but as a result of soaring international cereal prices and freight rates, the cereal import bill is projected to rise by 35 percent for the second consecutive year. A higher increase is projected for Africa. Prices of basic food have increased in many countries across the world mostly affecting vulnerable populations...
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Special Report -Lesotho, 12 June 2007 2007
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    • The 2006/07 cropping season was characterized by one of the most severe droughts of the last 30 years. The amount of rainfall in the critical months of January-March was well below normal, and temperatures were higher than the long term average. • Average yields per hectare of maize and sorghum for the 2006/07 cropping season are estimated to have decreased dramatically by 42 percent and 25 percent respectively, as compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the decrease in area planted to t hese cereals in 2006/07, as compared to the last cropping season, was 15 and 20 percent down, respectively, compared to the last 5-years average. • 2007 national cereal production is estimated at about 72 000 tonnes, which represents a drop of 42 percent from 2006, and 40 percent from the average of the previous 5-years. Maize production (50 825 tonnes) decreased by 51 percent, sorghum (11 182 tonnes) by 42 percent, and summer wheat (5 411 tonnes) by 4 percent compared to last year. A provisio nal forecast amount of 5 000 tonnes of winter wheat is also included.

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