Maize production declined from 20.4 million hundredweight in the 2012/13 harvest to 15.6 million in the 2015/16 cycle, and yield per cultivated hectare has also declined.
In the case of beans, figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) show greater variability, depending on the bean and crop variety, as some have reported better results.However, bean productivity has deteriorated in recent harvests. Laprensagrafica.com reports that"... performance went from 15.1 hundredweight per hectare on average in the 2014/15 season, to 13.1 in the 2015/16 cycle."
Due to the effects of El Niño, a drop of 38% has been forecast in the 2016-17 harvest and 5,450 tonnes will need to be imported to meet domestic demand.
The 5,450 extra tons more that Costa Rica will import this year as recommended by the National Production Council (CNP) will be added tothe 9,432 tons that have already been approvedby a decree for the period July 2016 to June 30, 2017.
2016-2017 forecast: 1.6 million hectares in cropland, cattle slaughter at 795,000 head and milk production raging between 275 million and 300 million gallons.
The Plan for Production, Consumption and Trade in the 2016-2017 Cycle includes details of the Nicaraguan government's projections for the agricultural, livestock, poultry, aquaculture and forestry sectors for the current year and the next.
The Colombian government has reduced tariffs to 0 on imports of lentils, beans and garlic, and suspended the price band for crude and refined oils.
From a statement issued by the President of Colombia:
The National Government has approved a reduction to 0% on tariffs on the import of lentils, beans and garlic, and has temporarily suspended the price band for crude and refined oils, which will ease the cost of the food basket for Colombians during the first half of 2016.
Producers in Costa Rica must further improve their productivity if they want to compete with the low prices offered for the same product internationally.
Currently a quintal of the grain sells in Costa Rica for around $40, whereas inside the Costa Rican market producers are trying to sell their harvest for $60, arguing that industrialists are offering them at lower prices in order to buy their production. This is not the first time that this difference in price has arisen, and this time, the government has said it will buy part of the local crop from producers in the south "... at a price that is double the price from abroad".
The decree which states that the domestic grain is insufficient to supply the local market, enables industries to import with zero tariffs in quotas which are proportional to local purchases.
Following complaints by agribusinesses about the delay in the declaration of a shortage, the government has finally signed the decree that authorizes the purchase of grain from abroad, tax-free. Imports can be made after the publication of the decree in the official newspaper La Gaceta.
Grain importers are complaining that the study to determine the shortage was made in June and the government has still not signed the decree allowing duty-free imports.
Another problem denounced by the National Chamber of the grain industry is the that the shortage decree which must be signed by the head of the agriculture and economics ministries, will only be effective in November, when normally it "applies until January of the next year ...
The Superintendency of Competition has concluded that there is no evidence of anticompetitive practices in pricing by traders.
From a statement issued by the Superintendency of Competition:
After thoroughly analyzing information and documentation on six bean traders, the Superintendency of Competition did not find enough evidence to lead to initiate an infringement procedure for anti-competitive practices concerning price fixing, limitation of quantities or market division, typified in points a, b and d of Article 25 of the Competition Act.
Estimates for the 2014/2015 harvest are that production will be less than the 120 million hundredweight of beans demanded per year in the country.
Compared with the previous crop year there will be a deficit of 6,698 hundredweight, as 359 hectares less have been cultivated than last year, according to the National Directorate of Agriculture. The industry expects that the 2014-2015 harvest will end with 85,000 hundredweight of beans collected, meaning that about 35 million pounds will have to be imported.
Anticipating a possible decline in sales to Venezuela, employers in the agricultural sector are looking for potential buyers for their products in Chile and Peru.
After the United States, Venezuela is the main buyer of Nicaraguan products, however, with the fall in oil prices the Union of Agricultural Producers of Nicaragua (UPANIC) is predicting a decline in exports to the country and therefore is looking for new markets in which to sell its products.
XAGRO S.A. Announced that they have signed a purchase agreement with Jam LLC to buy 5,000 MT of red beans from China that will be sold to importers throughout Central America to help ease market pressure and lower the high prices caused by recent shortages.
As part of the Agritrade Platform, Guatemala will participate for the 27th time in PMA Fresh Summit, the most important international trade show and convention of fruits and vegetables in the United States, which will take place at Anaheim Convention Center, California from October 17th to 19th.