Imports of husked rice grew by almost 200% between the periods 2011-2012 and 2015-2016, and even when paying a tariff of more than 35%, imports easily compete with the subsidized local product.
The competitiveness of imported rice is such that"... it is estimated that for the current period (1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017), purchases will reach 54,000 tons.That is almost three months consumption, in that presentation alone."
The producer's union estimates that in 2017 grain imports will go up 5% due to the reduction suffered by local production because of climate effects.
Members of the Guatemalan Rice Association plan to invest in agricultural technology and provide more support to small farmers in order to improve their productivity in light of the start of the United States´s tariff reduction process for grain.
It has been estimated that the total production of beans, sorghum and maize at the end the 2016 harvest will exceed 12 million hundredweight.
Laprensa.hn reports that "...Corn growers (white, yellow and sorghum) forecast a harvest of between eight million and nine million hundredweight at the end of the year, which will mean an increase of 60% compared to the figures recorded in 2015, which barely reached four million hundredweight."
The depletion of soils in Los Santos is leading producers to Darien, where rice cultivation has increased by 35% and more than 190 thousand hectares are now dedicated to raising livestock.
At the close of the 2015-16 crop year in the province of Darien almost 5,000 hectares were planted with rice and 192,000 hectares dedicated to cattle, two activities that until recently used to be concentrated in the province of Los Santos.In the case of rice, the increase is 35% from the agricultural year 2012-2013. In Darien,"... their soil moisture, land availability and proximity to the capital city have combined to the benefit of the productive sector."
After five consecutive months of increases, the index of food prices fell slightly in July, reflecting a reduction in the prices of cereals and vegetable oils.
From a statement issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization:
4 August 2016, Rome –The international prices for majorfood commoditiessaw a modest decline in July, following five consecutive months of increases. The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) averaged 161.9 points in July 2016, slipping 0.8 percent (1.3 points) below its level in June and 1.4 percent below its level of July 2015.The overall decline of the Index was largely caused by drops in international quotations of grains and vegetable oils, more than offsetting firmer dairy, meat and sugar prices.
The draft decree establishes minimum and maximum prices for certain presentations of national and imported products.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry:
Starting from Monday 27 June, the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), will be holding Public Consultations for the amendment of Executive Decree No. 38884-MEIC, which seeks a reduction in the price of milled rice for end consumers.With this modification the price of milled rice sold in the country will be established temporarily and gradually.
The increase in 5,800 hectares in the amount of land planted with rice in 2015 will lead to an increase in local production which will reduce imports required to complete supply of the domestic market by almost 50%.
An article on Laestrella.com.pa reports that Jorge Arango, Minister of Agricultural development, said that "... the country has increased domestic production of rice this year, therefore imports of this grain will be reduced ' by nearly half 'what was imported in previous years. "
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.
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