GIEWS Country Brief: Panama: 22 August 2022 – Panama

Attachments

FOOD SECURITY OVERVIEW

  • The 2022 paddy harvest started in August

  • Cereal import requirements expected to be high in marketing year 2022/23

  • The government has implemented various measures to contain rising food prices

The 2022 paddy harvest started in August

The 2022 short season paddy harvest started in August and will end in September. Growing conditions are generally favorable in the main western growing region (see green areas on the VHI map) due to good seasonal rains between April and July. Ongoing planting of the main paddy season will continue until the end of September. Weather forecasts point to average to above average rainfall for the September-November period, raising yield expectations for the main crop.

The planned planted area for the 2022 paddy crop is at an average level of 90,000 hectares. Availability of inputs, including seeds, fertilizers and herbicides, was reported to be sufficient to cover total annual production of paddy and maize in 2022. However, fertilizer imports in the first half of 2022 were 15 percent lower than the same period of the previous three years, due to high international fertilizer prices. Total 2022 paddy production, mostly rainfed, is tentatively forecast at an above average level of 390,000 tonnes, reflecting positive yield prospects for both main and minor crops resulting from favorable weather conditions.

Similarly, harvesting of the secondary maize crop is underway. Crop conditions in the main producing province of Los Santos in the south of the country are below the long-term average due to below-average rainfall between June and July. Favorable rainfall forecasts in the coming months are expected to fill soil moisture deficits and improve yields for the 2022 main maize season, to be harvested from December.

Cereal import requirements expected to be high in marketing year 2022/23

Cereal import requirements for marketing year 2022/23 (September/August) are forecast at an above average level of 835 000 tonnes. This is due to the sustained demand for wheat for human consumption and corn by the animal feed industry.

The government has implemented various measures to contain rising food prices

Retail rice prices have been set by Executive Order No. 165 since mid-2014. In July 2022, the number of foodstuffs falling under the maximum price ceilings increased from 14 to 18 and to understand vegetable oil, spaghetti and elbow pasta, sandwich bread and loaf called “micita», lentils, powdered milk, whole chicken, etc.

As for beans, after falling seasonally from November 2021 to May 2022, wholesale prices rebounded in June and were up around 10% year-over-year. Maize prices also remained above their previous year levels in June 2022, reflecting strong export prices in the United States of America, the country’s main maize supplier.

In July 2022, the government implemented a series of measures to contain price increases, amid rising inflation, with the annual food inflation rate estimated at 4.8% in July 2022 . In addition to expanding the coverage of the price cap program, the government has announced that it will provide subsidies 25 percent off 36 local food items sold in state-run Agricultural Marketing Institute (IMA) stores and markets. Otherwise, import tariffs out of 12 products, including wheat flour, corn flour, soybeans and palm oil, have been phased out. For some imported products, such as wheat flour, bread, corn flour and flakes, vegetable oil, ceiling of the gross profit from marketing in the retail market has been introduced.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of information in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city. or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

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