Lower corn production, more imports expected for Venezuela

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Lower corn production, more imports expected for Venezuela

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — A lack of seed technology and other inputs, coupled with old equipment in need of upgrades and repairs, will continue to weigh on corn production in Venezuela, according to an Oct. 11 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Corn production in the country is forecast at 1 million tonnes, down 8% from the USDA’s projection of 1.090 million tonnes, and compared with production of 1.150 million tonnes in both the 2015-16 and 2014-15 marketing years.

Venezuela’s main crop by area with about 400,000 hectares harvested annually, corn has several markets in the country. White corn primarily is used for food, while yellow corn primarily is used for feed, according to the FAS.

“Production will be insufficient to fulfill total demand for feed and food placing critical importance on imports,” the FAS noted in the report.

The report indicated imports for 2016-17 are forecast at 2.190 million tonnes, up 4% from the USDA’s projection of 2.1 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, Venezuela, which satisfies nearly all its wheat supplies through imports, said wheat consumption in 2016-17 is forecast is 1.52 million tonnes, up 1% from the USDA forecast of 1.5 million. Wheat imports are also up 1% from the USDA projection to 1.52 million tonnes.

“The Venezuela-Colombia border recently reopened for commercial trade since its closure in August 2015,” the report noted. “The GBRV (The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) has tacitly approved the border state governments and individuals to import scarce commodities. Given wheat flour shortages in Venezuela, cross-border trade with foreign origin wheat imported by Colombia is likely.”

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